Council gives OK for arbitrator to decide 7-year deal.
light of the city’s ongoing financial woes, the city manager said last
Friday that he is extremely determined to get a deal done with police,
who have worked without a new contract for four years.
The City Council on Sept. 19 gave approval for an independent arbitrator, Arthur
to decide on a seven-year deal with the Long Beach police. The
contract, which will run through June 30, 2015, will include four years
of retroactive pay.
a time when the city is in fiscal crisis and the economy is in a
downturn, we’re looking to get a favorable decision from the independent
arbitrator and a cost-effective contract for the police department,”
City Manager Jack Schnirman said in a phone interview.
added that each round of arbitration costs the city about $100,000 and
the city could ill afford to go through another round. “Now is the
opportunity to minimize those costs,” said Schnirman, who called the council’s vote of approval “a very important first step.”
Councilman Mike Fagen, who voted against allowing the arbitrator to
decide on a seven-year deal, said he should come to terms on the
retroactive pay first and then go from there.
owe our cops four years of back pay and we should pay them for four
years,” Fagen said. “And then we should go to the table and do more
planning. But to offer an additional three years without knowing how
much it will cost them or how we will pay for it defies logic. Where is
that money coming from?”
councilman said the city waived its rights under the Taylor Law, which
protects the city financially and provides for an independent arbitrator
to rule on a two-year award.
police have been without a new contract since June 30, 2008, and Long
Beach Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Ken Apple said he is
thrilled the new city administration is showing interest in getting a
“It shows that both sides – and it’s been a long time — are working together,” he said.
expects the arbitrator to render his decision sometime at the beginning
of 2013. “He’s expressed interest from Day One of getting it done as
quickly as possible,” he said.
said the PBA membership also voted to allow the arbitrator to decide on
a seven-year deal because negotiations with the city had reached an
impasse, and that the arbitrator has already heard all the testimony, so
Reigel is familiar with the case and could reach a reasonable decision.
this point we’re asking the arbitrator to give us a fair decision, and
whatever he decides we will live with,” said Apple, whose PBA boasts 69
would not say how much of a pay hike Long Beach police are seeking, but
added that the county has averaged around a 4 percent yearly increase.
said that arbitration was initially filed in June 2010, and that the
arbitrator will have to decide on a contract as the city continues to
face financial troubles.
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