Daly City seeks end to union stalemate

Six months after contract negotiations began, the union for the Daly City Police Department and the city are calling on a state mediator to help them reach an agreement on retirement and medical benefits starting in early January.

The Daly City Police Officers Association, which represents 113 police managers and officers, reached an impasse with the city earlier this month when the two sides could not agree on improving medical benefits. Police officers currently receive $680 toward their health care costs.

“Increase in medical costs is a huge thing,” said Jeff Rodriguez, the union’s president. “I have two children and I pay a couple of hundred dollars toward medical benefits and that goes up every year. We’re trying to catch that so it wouldn’t be $300 next year and $400 the year after that.”

The city’s operating budget is currently more than $68 million, which pays for more than 800 city employees.

The police association is just one of the unions that Daly City has been negotiating with since this summer. New agreements are also due for several hundred other city employees, including firefighters, librarians and clerical staff. Neither city officials nor employees could comment on the specifics of the ongoing negotiations. Only the police union has thus far reached an impasse in talks, but many are concerned about medical benefits.

“The city is trying to restructure our health care benefits,” said Nadia Bledsoe, negotiator for local union of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees that represents librarians, custodians, engineers, building inspectors and others. “[We] need protection from rising health care costs.”

Bledsoe said the union is also asking for vision coverage that the city does not provide, and improved dental benefits.

“Public employees come to work for the city knowing that they can get more in the private sector in exchange for secure benefits and retirement,” she said. “Daly City’s plight is no different than any other city on the Peninsula.”

John Noble, negotiator for the police and fire unions, explained that negotiations are taking so long because the two sides started the process only when the old contracts expired. He said negotiations usually begin six months in advance. The last negotiations with the police union, in 2005, lasted more than a year.

According to Bledsoe, AFSCME was ready to begin negotiations in May, but the city was not ready until the summer.

Vice Mayor Maggie Gomez said she could not comment on the state of negotiations. The state mediator will meet with the city and the police union Jan. 9.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The City is seeking to enhance health care for San Francisco International Airport workers, which include more than 100 who have tested positive for COVID-19. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Airlines, business groups fight new health insurance requirements for SFO workers

Heathy Airport Ordinance would require companies to offer family coverage or increase contributions

The Hall of Justice building at 850 Bryant St. is notorious for sewage leaks and is known to be seismically unsafe. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD speeding up Hall of Justice exit after another ‘large leak’

San Francisco police can’t get out of the decrepit Hall of Justice… Continue reading

The Telegraph Quartet is pictured during its SF Music Day 2020 recording session at the striking, beautifully lit and almost empty Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy Marcus Phillips)
SF Music Day goes virtual with Herbst broadcast

Performers pre-record sets in empty, iconic theater

Dr. Vincent Matthews, superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, said Tuesday that student would not be back in school before the end of this calendar year. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Superintendent: City schools will not reopen before the end of the year

San Francisco public schools won’t reopen to students for the rest of… Continue reading

The admissions process at the academically competitive Lowell High School is set to change this year due to coronavirus restritions. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Lowell’s selective admissions process put on hold this year — and more changes may be in the works

School board votes unanimously to use normal student assignment lottery for competitive school

Most Read