Supervisors push back on police contract proposal

City officials have hashed out a contract agreement with the police union to stave off potential layoffs by delaying raises...

City officials have hashed out a contract agreement with the police union to stave off potential layoffs by delaying raises for officers, but the proposal is getting pushback from some members of the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Shamann Walton have each raised concerns about the tentative agreement, which would delay a 3 percent raise for officers in exchange for an additional 6 percent pay hike in the coming years.

Peskin is not opposed to increasing pay for rank-and-file officers. He simply wants the San Francisco Police Officers Association to in some way commit to police reform in return as a provision of the contract.

“There is no way in God’s Earth that I am going to trade a contract extension for a wage concession without a meeting of the minds on police reform,” Peskin said. “I am happy to trade money for public safety and community trust.”

Both noted that the San Francisco Police Department has not completed a majority of the 272 recommendations for reform issued by the U.S. Department of Justice in late 2016. The union has been criticized for inhibiting the initiative.

But Walton added, “I will not be supporting any increases for police officers and the Police Department.”

In June, Walton joined Mayor London Breed to call for the redirecting of funds from the Police Department to the Black community following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

The police union reached the tentative contract agreement with the Department of Human Resources on July 31. The agreement would extend the current contract, which would otherwise expire in June 2021.

Over the weekend, officers overwhelmingly approved the proposed terms with a vote of 1,237 to 401.

The agreement still needs the approval of the Board of Supervisors to be finalized, but no date has been set for such a hearing. The supervisors were scheduled to be briefed on the proposal Tuesday in closed session.

SFPOA President Tony Montoya did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Montoya has previously framed the agreement as a sacrifice for officers who were asked to delay raises.

“San Francisco police officers have always answered the call when our city has been in crisis, whether it be our out of control homeless situation, open air drug markets, the COVID pandemic or our pending fiscal crisis,” Montoya said. “Once again our officers are being asked to sacrifice.”

Peskin encouraged the SFPOA to come to the table and embrace “common sense police reform.”

“I want to have a real meaningful conversation with this organization,” he said. “I don’t want to push them into a corner.”

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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