KSEE News, 04/05/12
The Fresno Police Officers Association has had enough of the city asking for pay cuts. So Thursday, union reps announced say they have good news, and bad news for city hall.
“Right now, litigation is off the table.”
That’s the good news… And somewhat surprising, considering the constant concessions FPOA and other city unions have made over the last few years. But this time, police officers were not happy with the mayor’s fiscal sustainability policy.
Rockne Lucia, Jr., Attorney: “There are things in there that I could’ve litigated, but they decided that’s the wrong course of action.”
Police officers say they want to help the city get through the next 10 years with as little impact to employees as possible. The city is hoping to meet with them next week.
Jacky Parks, FPOA President: “We do feel like we can be part of the solution. We certainly would like to be treated like we’re part of the solution and not the enemy.”
Now here’s the bad news, according to FPOA…
It’s business as usual with city hall, which police officers believe is what put the city in fiscal trouble, and could keep it there.
Parks: “It’s not this council’s fault or just the council before that. It’s a series of bad decisions that have happened that led us to where we are.”
In this fiscal sustainability policy, city manager Mark Scott says the city is looking at a 15% shortfall per year for the next 10 years. The city is trying to get that 15% in order to get things balanced.
Scott says Fresno is now at a point where those cuts are going to have to come from employee compensation.
Mark Scott, City Manager: “Everything needs to be on the table of we’re going to do this the most effective way, in terms of the long term ability of this city to continue to serve the public.”
Attorneys for FPOA say just because they’re not taking legal action now doesn’t mean they won’t in the future, and that could happen with an unfavorable change in the current sustainability policy.
City manager Mark Scott says under the sustainability policy approved last week, unions would be asked to consider opening their contracts. FPOA’s contract is currently sealed.