Acknowledging San Luis Obispo’s dire financial outlook, a group representing police force management has agreed to forgo two of three remaining salary increases in their five year contract.
This latest concession will bring the city’s total 2011 labor costs down an estimated $858,000 after nearly all the city’s workers have agreed to freeze pay.
The changes to the San Luis Obispo Police Staff Officers’ Association’s agreement, which represents 17 employees ranging from police lieutenants to captains, will save the city an estimated $118,000 in 2011 and $87,000 in 2012.
“Budget times are tough,” said Kerri Rosenblum, president of the group. “The bigger picture is that the city is in bad financial times and as leaders we need to show good strong leadership and do our part too.”
A three percent salary increase remains in the contract for 2012. However, the union agreed to eliminate a five percent increase scheduled to occur in two phases in 2011.
The city faces a predicted shortfall of $3 million in its roughly $54 million annual general fund for the fiscal year 2011-12.
That shortfall is anticipated to grow to $3.4 million in 2013-14 and is projected to be $2.7 million annually for each of the next five years.
The agreement, expected to be approved by the City Council on Tuesday, follows one-year agreements approved by the City Council with four of the city’s five labor groups in November, saving the city an estimated $490,000.
The two unions representing the majority of city workers, as well as firefighters, agreed to forfeit cost-of-living increases and additional city contributions to their health insurance for one year. In addition, unrepresented managers and confidential employees agreed to the same terms. Those groups represent about 81 percent of city staff.
In late December, the Police Officers Association, which represents 62 employees, also agreed to forgo a second consecutive year of cost-of-living increases and additional health insurance contributions in 2011, for an estimated savings of $233,800.
In addition, city leaders such as department heads, the city manager and city attorney agreed to not cash out their unused administrative leave. City Manager Katie Lichtig also gave up her monthly car allowance of $450 for 2011. Those employees, like the unions, also agreed to no salary increases.
The only remaining employee contract is the Fire Battalion Chiefs’ Association, which represents four employees. Those employees are set to receive a 5 percent salary increase this year totaling $37,000.
In 2009, that association agreed to defer a 5 percent salary increase. At that time, the city agreed to not ask for an additional salary deferral or reduction during the terms of the contract, which expires in December, said Michael Codron, assistant city manager.
However, Codron said, that does not prevent them from approaching the city with a proposal to reduce or eliminate the scheduled increase.
Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.