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.