Fragile Peace: San Jose, Police Union Reach Tentative Agreement

By Kris Sanchez
|  Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013  |  Updated 6:40 PM PDT
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The city of San Jose and its police force have reached a tentative agreement to implement a 10.6 percent raise over the next 2 1/2 years. Kris Sanchez reports.

The city of San Jose and its police force have reached a tentative agreement to implement a 10.6 percent raise over the next 2 1/2 years. Kris Sanchez reports.

The city of San Jose and its police force have reached a tentative agreement to implement a 10.6 percent raise over the next 2 1/2 years.

The question remains whether that will be enough to stop the exodus of officers for other departments.

MORE: SJPD Chief Apologizes for Gang-Crime Stats

Although 10 percent might sound generous, it only brings the officers back to 2009 pay levels. But, under the existing contract, the city didn’t have to offer anything.

In a closed-door session with a state mediator, the San Jose City Council and the San Jose police union reached a tentative labor agreement that boosts police pay.

The council agreed to a 4 percent raise as soon as the offer is ratified, a 3.3 percent raise next in 2014, another 3.3 percent raise in 2015, plus a one-time 2 percent cash bonus with no strings attached.

The deal restores the 10 percent pay cut that all but two of the city’s unions agreed to during the economic slump. 

The council hopes this deal will stop the growing problem of officers from leaving for other departments.

“We’d like to keep those officers,” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said. “We want to get back to full staffing and add another 200 officers on top of that.”

But the union president says officers aren’t just leaving over salary, they’re leaving over pensions too, which are not addressed in this deal.

“You take what you can get sometimes,” said Sgt. Jim Unland, union president.

MORE: Nearly Half New SJPD Cadets Ready to Leave

Union members will begin voting on the deal in one week. if they approve it, the city will make the offer public.

The council could vote as early as Dec. 10.

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