PIEDMONT -- The city has reached agreement with the Piedmont Police Officers Association after a lengthy negotiation period. The details were announced at Monday night's City Council meeting.
Police officers will receive no salary increase during the term of the contract which runs through June 30, 2013. Their rates of pay range from $6,172 per month to $7,448 per month depending on years of service. Sergeants are paid $8,852 per month.
A two-tier system was agreed upon whereby new employees will be subject to 2 percent-at-50 retirement plan for those hired after Sept. 1, 2012. Current officers receive 3 percent at 50. That means new employees will earn 2 percent of their salary for each year worked for their retirement benefit.
Effective Aug. 1, employees will contribute $100 per month toward their retiree medical care.
Any amount above the 37 percent the city pays toward the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) will be equally shared between the city and employee, effective Aug. 1.
Officers may accumulate up to 160 hours of comp time, up from 144 hours. Watch commanders may receive cash or comp time for hours of service; they previously received only comp time.
They will receive $2,400 in tuition reimbursement per fiscal year, up from the current $2,000. They also may "sell back" one year's worth of unused vacation time, with provisions.
An agreement also was reached with police captains, who are salaried.
Captains will now get Christmas Eve as a full paid day off, while officers do not. Captains work as many hours as needed, with no overtime pay. Typical workweek is 40 hours.
Their pay scale ranges from $9,850 per month to $11,971, depending on years of service. Finance Director Mark Bichsel said the changes will diminish the city's costs, but did not have hard figures at this time.
"I think these agreements were fair," Councilwoman Margaret Fujioka said.
City Administrator Geoff Grote, who negotiated the agreements said, "Some think this was not enough, and the police think it was too much (taken away), that's why it has taken so long. We still have to settle with the firefighters."
The chamber was empty at Monday's meeting, but Michael Rancer of the Municipal Tax Review Committee sent a memo to the panel cautioning that public safety employees' costs continue to escalate and must continue to be addressed, even with the concessions that were made with the current agreements.
In other business, the council approved spending up to $24,000 for the services of William Avery & Associates to conduct an executive search to replace Bichsel as finance and human resources director. Bichsel will retire in March.