San Jose Police Salaries Restored under Tentative City-POA Agreement

San Jose’s police union reached a tentative agreement with the city this week that would restore officer salaries over the next three years. The Police Officers Association is expected to be on board with the plan, and so is the City Council.

But when asked for comment, POA President Jim Unland’s wasn’t necessarily thrilled, given that the “raises” will be incremental after the city slashed police pay by 10 percent since 2009. In two years, Unland says, the San Jose Police Department will once again be at a competitive disadvantage with departments in other cities.

“I’ve got mixed feelings on it,” he said. “We’re going to be sitting there at the end of 2015 saying, ‘Wow, we’re way behind the curve.’”

The signed agreement requires ratification from the POA and a final OK from the council. The agreement, which will be posted online two weeks before the council meeting, would spread out the raise: 4 percent this year and 3.3 percent for each of the following two.

Mayor Chuck Reed—who’s been at odds with the POA since rolling out his much-maligned Measure B pension reforms—said the raise was overdue.

“Our officers work hard and deserve a raise,” he said in a statement. “This agreement represents a fair compromise that will allow us to restore their 10 percent pay cut over time and in a manner that prevents us from having to immediately cut services.”

Hopefully, Reed added, restoring salaries will prevent more officers from leaving the force. The city’s sworn-staff count has dwindled to 1,000, down from 1,400 a few years ago.

“This agreement also represents an important component of our ongoing efforts to retain our talented officers and grow the size of the police force in the years ahead,” Reed said. “And by providing our officers with certainty over the next two-and-a-half years rather than ongoing negotiations, our city and the police union will be able to focus more of their energies on providing high quality police services to our community.”

20 Comments

  1. The number of street ready officers in San Jose is about 900, not 1,000. It is the lowest officer to citizen ration of any city in the United States for a city of a population over 50,000 people.

  2. The Police do not buy ink by the barrel so regardless of any new terms, they will be constantly vilified in local media. With that in mind, the Police Officers Association membership should not try to appease the public by accepting this anemic offer.
    People shall reap what they’ve sown.

  3. Until the city readdresses Tier 2 disability and retirement for the new hires AND gives back the 10% in full to the veterans I will continue to vote “No”.

    This offer is offensive.

    • could not agree with with you more.

      The articles headline San Jose Police Salaries Restored under Tentative City-POA Agreement” is a joke.  Saleries will never be totally restored.  It is this type of misleading information that lead to Measure B passing and getting us in this mess to begin with.

  4. The POA board deserves an enormous amount of credit for the hard work they’ve invested in this effort. That they, whose ability to stay the course through the frustrating and, more often than not, insulting ordeal of dealing with this city, recommend the package should be reason enough for the membership to approve it.

    That said, what is offered amounts to table scraps. Anyone who uses the word “restore” in connection with this contract is either a liar or a fool. Once inflation is factored into the equation the purchasing power represented by the 10% surrendered in 2009 would require a raise of 20% today to repair. By the time the final increase of this contract is factored in the officers, despite the “10%” increase provided by this contract, will have 85% of the purchasing power they had in 2009 (based on a very modest inflation rate of 2.5% per year).

    This contract will “restore” neither the officer’s wages, the city’s ability to attract decent candidates, nor the department’s ability to retain its trained, experienced employees. San Jose PD cannot compete with the local market, and when the dust clears from this puff of political smoke nothing will have changed—SJPD will still be viewed by police job shoppers at the Thrift Store of police agencies.

    This contract offering represents just one more bit of damage control by an administration that has finally realized it cannot fix what it broke. Every idiot on the council running for mayor is running scared, trying to find a way to run from his or her record of supporting an illegal and brutally stupid effort to destroy employee bargaining units.

    Well, one employee bargaining unit is still there, its dedicated band playing on while the ship sinks, and Captain Chuck Reed prepares to bail out in his personal, custom fitted lifeboat.

  5. The thing that Reed and his cohort failed to do after winning a big political victory was to fail to pay attention to reality.

    If you consider police and fire, you can see that Reed’s plan is working perfectly when it comes to fire, but not when it comes to police.  The reason that it isn’t working is that crime in the Bay Area is rising, and that’s creating a demand for more police.  Why would anyone think that fire and police should be treated the same, when the job market clearly isn’t treating them the same.

    So Reed and especially his cohort need to pay attention to reality and realize that you don’t get to drive a hard bargain in a sellers market.  Fix this thing before it gets any worse.  If it gets worse, none of Reed’s cohort will have a snowball’s chance in heck of becoming mayor.

    Heck, even David S. Wall has figured this out.

    • You like stretching it, don’t you?

      FBI Crime Rate stats for San Jose (per 100k population)

      Total “Violent Crime” in 2003: 365.2 vs 365.2 in 2012 (not a typo – 0% change)

      Total Calls Received in 2003: 3492 vs 2338 in 2012
      (33% DECREASE)

      Total “Property Crime” in 2003: 2243.0 vs. 2930.2 in 2012
      (30% increase)

      The sh!t’s all over the map and I don’t get your point.

      There’s clearly a problem with increase in car thefts and burglaries.

      What could 10% headcount bump possibly do in this case?!?

  6. Unless someone in the know at the POA believes a better deal can be had—and the word is they don’t, then the membership’s rejection of this contract will be looked at by outsiders as a vote of no confidence for its own bargaining unit, and nothing could make Chuck Reed happier. It has been his goal from the onset to unravel the POA’s only bargaining chip, its unity.

    Approving this contract has nothing to do with capitulation. No council member responsible for destroying public safety will be reprieved. Nothing will change but your wages and your POA’s ability to put this issue aside and get to work on others.

    Before voting, POA members should realize that a bargaining unit denied the support of its membership ceases to be a bargaining unit. If the city has, as appears to be the case, sufficiently emptied its coffers through incompetence and duplicity, no amount of employee anger, resentment, or pride can make the missing dollars reappear. All you can accomplish with your understandably negative emotions is make the POA’s credibility disappear.

    However you vote, do not vote on impulse.

  7. The sad part is….it will pass.  They are many desperate and frustrated police officer’s at San Jose PD who are woking 5, 6 even 7 days a week to help make ends meet.  In the last few years officer’s have seen their total salary decrease by over 20%.  That includes the 10% pay cut, GASBY and increase to their retirement contribution.  The San Jose Police Department is the lowest paid in Santa Clara County and if this contract passes, they will still be last!!!!!

    Reed has won, he has beaten the officer’s into submission and they will be silenced for the next 2 yrs but more importantly SJPD will be silenced during the next mayor’s race.  Every candidate will say “I had a hand in getting San Jose Police Officer’s a raise.”  Well is not a raise, it’s not even a full restoration of their 10% voluntary pay cut they took.  The San Jose Police Officer’s gave the city a dollar loan and they are getting payed back 10 cents on the dollar…a nickel over 2 years.  Well done Mayor and the city council, shame on you SJPD POA.

  8. What an insult.
    Who among us can even begin to imagine getting by on a measly 120K/year. And working into our fifties. And then a lousy 150K/year for the rest of our lives.
    The POA should throw this offer right back in the taxpayers’ faces and then bring another lawsuit against us.

    • Wow, really I sure wish I would have got that kind of money after I retire after 30 years.  both your numbers are way off the chart.  Don’t mix everyone together.  Sure chiefs will make that kind of money, but officers, not even close.

      • Oh forgot to mention,  most officers are retiring with only 20 years of service not 30 which would be the max they can get and majority of officers with more than 10 years to retirement are applying and going to other departments.

        Almost humorous that most newly hired officers are leaving as well. They know tier 2 pay is what you get at McDonalds.

      • Yes, you bring up an excellent point which I failed to mention.
        Just imagine. Having to work 30 years to earn a 30 year pension. It’s draconian. Why not 20 years? Why not 10? There really ought to be a fallback position for public employees who genuinely would like to receive the full pension but, for whatever reason, don’t want to work so much or wait so long. Maybe they could call it “disability”.

  9. Even if this passes, it will not let the mayoral candidates from the city council off the hook or divert attention away from the problem. Again, assuming this passes, San Jose Police Officers will still be far below the industry standard for wages, and officers will still be leaving. A bigger problem is this does nothing to address a major problem – that Measure B took away worker’s compensation benefits from police officers hurt on the job. Even if the police officers get a small salary restoration, they will leave here for other cities that take care of their officers hurt on the job, and make no mistake, it is a dangerous job in which officers are frequently injured. The mayoral candidates from the San Jose City Council will need to face the music of how they are going to deal with the disaster they created, even if a small wage increase is given to the officers. This will continue to be just a training ground for police officers thanks to most of our city council.

  10. Galt,

    Hey JA,  please do your home work. 30 years of service does not get you a 30 year pension, it is for as long as you live , which is not that long. Average life after retirement is 7-10 years.  Most officers retire at 20 years so do the math, retirement is top ended at 4% of salery for the last 10 years. So your numbers are of the scale.

    I know you hate the public safety that protects you, but what the heck I am proud to have served you night and day during my time.  I wish you well.

  11. I was never good at math but when the cops took a 10% pay cut awhile back, and now Reed is offering them what he calls a pay increase of 10%, I thought that amounts to a zero increase, not counting inflation and the loss of the use of that income during the time before it was restored.

    While pay for the cops will show no net increase, with the upcoming election, what will increase is councilman Liccardo’s (mayor Reed’s lapdog) frantic scramble to avoid accountability for the mortal wound he and others on the council inflicted on the SJPD by way of the misguided, perhaps even malicious, destruction of public safety pay and benefits through the disingenuous way Measure B was foisted on the public.

    The sad thing is that when all these veteran officers leave San Jose and begin working for neighboring police departments, the intensity and effectiveness of the enforcement efforts in those neighboring jurisdictions will increase and streetwise criminals will migrate into San Jose where the likelihood of being caught is much less. Crime statistics, particularly those for property crimes, already indicate this is happening.

    Even if surveillance cameras are increased and/or “registered” in a quixotic effort to help support enforcement efforts, what good is surveillance footage of a crime if you don’t have investigators available to follow up and identify the suspect in the photo because all the investigators have been returned to street patrol because even with mandatory overtime, there aren’t enough cops on the street?

    Good job Reed and Liccardo. Do you two still live in San Jose? Do you still park your cars outside in the driveway like the “little people” do? Do you wonder if the car or the car stereo is going to be there when you leave for work in the morning like many of the “little people” do? You guys have the money to replace your stolen stuff. I don’t. Thanks.