Police union opposes more wage concessions

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Officer layoffs, the loss of a federally funded Police Academy class and the transfer of officers to part-time status appears to be inevitable as the union representing police officers fights further modifications to its labor contract.

In an effort to cut The City’s $522 million deficit by July 1, departments are being asked to trim 20 to 30 percent of their budgets. In the Police Department’s case, that means as much as $47 million. The City’s total budget is about $6.6 billion.

The union already deferred 2 percent pay raises until the end of the contract to save The City $16.7 million, according to Police Officer’s Association Vice President Kevin Martin.

“All those concessions were made, and we were assured that we would not reopen or renegotiate the contract,” he said.

But police officers are scheduled to receive another raise, 4 percent, in July. That leaves Mayor Gavin Newsom’s budget team with one of the most troublesome cuts.

The number of police officers on San Francisco streets is mandated at 1,971 through a voter initiative, though that figure has rarely been achieved.

In addition, San Francisco recently received a grant from the federal Community Oriented Policing Services program to hire 50 officers, which it stands to lose if the most recently recruited officers are laid off first.

“The COPS funding for that new academy class is predicated on not reducing the number of sworn personnel,” Newsom told the Police Commission on Wednesday.

In response, the union and police Chief George Gascón are asking veteran officers to retire and return on part-time status.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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