Cops criticize council

Here’s the statement the police union released regarding their new contract:

Standing in the back row of the Fremont City Council Chambers, dozens of police officers of the 150-member Fremont Police Association stand tall, but silent, while the City Council approved a new contract that retroactively cuts their pay by 4.25 percent.

“An experienced police officer will take a pay cut of $5,500 to $6,600 a year,” said officer Greg Pipp, president of the Fremont Police Association. “At the same time, we have more responsibilities because of serious understaffing.”

The city of Fremont is recognized as having one of the lowest per capita number of police officers on patrol in California for a city with over 200,000 residents.

“This pay cut will be devastating to our police officers and their families who currently depend upon this income to pay for childcare, college tuition and house payments, ” Pipp said of the pay cut which will retroactively go into effect July 3, 2011.

It is anticipated that this new contract will save the city $1.4 million in fiscal year 2011-2012 and $1.6 million in fiscal year 2012-2013, for a total savings of over $3 million.

The FPA has been meeting for three months with City of Fremont representatives to hone details of a new contract. Members of the FPA voted to approve the city’s “final and best” offer out of concern that an imposed contract from a hostile City Council could be more devastating to individual officers and their families.

“City negotiators worked honestly and diligently with us and we are extremely appreciative of the good relationship we have build together,” Pipp said. “Ultimately, the decision to cut police pay was made by the Mayor and City Council, who, in recent years, have not been strong allies of law enforcement.”

“The Mayor and City Council want residents to believe that public safety is their priority, but their actions don’t back that up,” Pipp stated. “You don’t say ‘public safety is a priority’ and then vote to drastically cut police officers’ pay,” Pipp added.

The new contract approved by the City Council on July 19 will expire June 30, 2013. The tenets include: A 4.25 percent salary reduction, effective July 3, 2011; a reduced pension formula and reduced retirement medical benefits for new officers; the patrol schedule will move to a 10-hour shift adding 16 work days to the patrol officer schedule; an almost 40 percent reduction for numerous police officers receiving alternative benefits compensation at the end of the agreement; specialist pay for specific titles will be eliminated; and, comp pay and overtime will be restricted in certain instances.

“Regardless of the substantial pay cut all of our police officers are taking, we have great respect for the citizens of Fremont and will always do our very best to protect the community,” Pipp concluded.

Matt Artz

  • Audrey

    “This pay cut will be devastating to our police officers..” Devastating? Sounds like an exaggeration here, or the wrong word choice IMHO. Everyone is making better financial choices in light of the current economic condition. I know I am– I watch how much gas I use, don’t go out to eat as much, eat Taco Bell/fast food more, etc.

    I actually see police officers just hanging out a lot at Peet’s (or maybe they’re on break?). One time I saw (what appeared to me) to be some cop reading a book in his patrol car in the parking lot at Pacific Commons at night. Sure, they have MORE responsibilities…

    Glad the City Council and Mayor finally took a stand on something. Anyway, on a positive note, at least Pipp concluded his statement on an optimistic note.

  • Mike R

    I would be curious to see the math but an extra sixteen working days for the same salary would mean extra day care, food, etc. I can see that being a pretty expensive cut plus the money stuff.

    Pipp should come onto this board and respond. I too have seen several officers at the coffee shop but assumed it was lunch or break which I dont begrudge them as I know I can be quite grumpy when I skip or delay mu normal lunch time.

  • John

    I know a few cops. The concessions that a lot of the other cities got as far as employees paying for half of the retirement, has been what the Fremont Police have been paying since day one. They are taking a paycut on top of that.

    They get a 50 minute lunch break a day if they are lucky. At least you guys didn’t use the cliche’ of seeing them in a doughnut shop.

    You notice the cops because they are in uniform. I am sure that there are lots of people in Peets that are on the clock. Of course none of them have to deal with violent criminals in front of them and citizens who don’t always have their back.

    They are hiring 12 new officers thanks to the paycut. Put your application in. See if you like putting up with the drunks, getting shot at (OFC Young) getting run over by a burglar (OFC Brower) or getting cancer from drug lab exposure just when you retired.

  • bbox231

    “You don’t say ‘public safety is a priority’ and then vote to drastically cut police officers’ pay,” –

    I hope Mr Pipp knows better. It’s what you do with what you have, and how those actions compare to others in similar markets that defines priorities.

    The “drastic” cuts Pipp complains about are insignificant in comparison to what’s been going on in the private sector. Total compensation earnings for most have been declining for for many years now.

    “This pay cut will be devastating to our police officers and their families who currently depend upon this income to pay for childcare, college tuition and house payments, ”

    Indeed times are a challenge for everyone. The Municipal sector is not and should not be immune.

    The cuts approved by our City Council are, by comparison to what I observe in private sector, very very generous.

  • Audrey

    I agree with Bbox231!!!

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/ Marty

    My god people, police officers have to pay for daycare!

    How in the world can we alleviate this stress put on police families? Subsidized pedicures for Mrs. Blue? Another $20K/year?