The Board of Supervisors officially approved San Francisco’s renegotiated police contract Tuesday, closing out months of debate over whether to give officers new raises without requiring their union to partake in reform.
The board voted 9-2 with supervisors Hillary Ronen and Dean Preston in dissent to approve the updated contract, which delays raises for officers in the short term in exchange for new pay increases totalling 6 percent later on.
Advocates had argued that the board should not approve the contract without the Department of Human Resources, under the direction of Mayor London Breed, using the negotiations as an opportunity to drive reform.
Attorneys from the Bar Association of San Francisco and the Public Defender’s Office wanted the contract to clearly articulate that The City would not engage in a lengthy negotiation process called meet-and-confer over policy changes, or managerial prerogatives, that do not impact working conditions.
The process has been criticized for stalling reforms such as an update to the San Francisco Police Department’s body-worn camera policy, which was first approved in January 2018 but stuck in limbo for more than two years of negotiations.
The contract as approved does not include any reform concessions from the San Francisco Police Officers Association.
The agreement “does nothing to address the POA’s unrelenting history of delaying much needed reforms,” Preston told the San Francisco Examiner. “The SFPD will not be meaningfully reformed if DHR and the mayor continue to offer more pay raises to the SFPOA and ask for nothing in return.”
While the contract fell short for critics, the SFPOA did reach two agreements with city officials on the side after some supervisors who supported the contract at the Nov. 17 meeting indicated their votes might otherwise change.
One agreement, signed Monday by SFPOA President Tony Montoya and SFPD Chief Bill Scott, said the union agreed to police redirecting 17 types of calls for service to mental health or other professionals.
“The SFPOA intends and agrees to work collaboratively with The City to develop and accelerate implementation of specific reforms, including those that address police biases and strengthen accountability,” the agreement reads.
The other agreement, signed Tuesday by DHR and the SFPOA, is meant to clarify a contentious section of the contract that requires The City to notify the union of management decisions that affect officers.
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