SLO police union’s binding arbitration challenge denied

May 16, 2011

San Luis Obispo Police Officers’ Association’s request for a temporary restraining order against the city in order to stop the public from voting on binding arbitration and a charter that requires voter approval to make changes in retirement benefits was denied earlier today.

On May 3, the union filed a civil suit alleging the city is ignoring its obligations to the city and that the council’s decision to put the cost saving measures on the ballot violates rules.

City attorney Christine Dietrick argued that the ballot measures did not go against collective bargaining requirements that the city must abide by.

San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Charles Crandell ruled in favor of the city of San Luis Obispo. As a result, the council is free to take action Tuesday night to put the repeal of binding arbitration and amendment of the charter language on pensions on a citywide all-mail ballot in August, Councilman Andrew Carter posted on his Facebook page less than an hour ago.

Binding arbitration, voted in by the public in 2000, entitles safety worker’s unions to bring in a third party negotiator if labor talks are at an impasse. The city and the unions are then required to abide by the negotiator’s decision.



  1. SLOshank says:

    Binding arbitration and the San Luis Obispo Police Department:

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
    • r0y says:

      Name-calling never helps one’s argument; even if done via a cool internet tool!

      (-3) 9 Total Votes - 3 up - 6 down
      • r0y says:

        Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of “gems” in SLOshank’s video, just the sophomoric insults (while funny for many) will only take away from the good points made in the video.

        (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
    • SLO LOCAL says:


      Great video. Every SLO tax payer should watch this. Maybe then more people will actually understand how royally screwed we are.

      I just really can not understand how “thinking” people would have got us to this point. We MUST do everything we can to change this culture of financial stupidity.

      (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
    • catsdad says:

      Demonstrating the ignorance of most of the “voters” in SLO this video shows Chief Linden as the leader of the police union. Fortunately it will be a mail in ballot to attract all of the lazy, uninformed “citizens” so they can vote against the public service employees so no one will be around to stop them from further deteriorating this city. Like the county sheriffs actually have time, and manpower, to add patrolling and law enforcement in the city. I couldn’t tell if the video was ridiculing Carter for being an alumni of the same school that gave us Donald Trump, or just ridiculing him for constantly trying to impress us that he graduated from the same school as Donald Trump. SLOshank I hope you have a day job.

      (-3) 5 Total Votes - 1 up - 4 down
  2. willie says:

    I like most of the officers I spoke to at Farmers Market.
    I feel they are deserving of the best we can give them.
    But I spoke with one motor officer that I could clearly see and has to strain to PR (sticks out like a sore thumb).
    It makes me realize and wake up to the danger of what one LEO can do.
    These LEO are vowed to serve and to protect the community.
    They are not to rule, oppress, or revenue.
    Think of “the true purpose” and not the rules, policy and laws the politicians created for underhanded domination and control.!

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  3. catsdad says:

    It’s was quite telling that the Chamber of Commerce wasn’t required by the council to demonstrate by, initiative petition signatures, that there was indeed enough public support to spend upwards of $80,000 of taxpayer money on a special election to solve a problem that could have been easily eliminated through regular labor negotiations. Also telling is the $200,000 the Chamber is allocated from the city annually and how much of that money will find its way into this campaign that is not supposed to be taxpayer funded. How much money annually will actually be saved if this measure passes and wasn’t a majority of the Measure Y tax increase allocated to public safety? Will the money really be saved or reallocated to a more business/developer friendly accounts?
    Maybe we should be asking Dave what ever happened to the workman’s compensation claim put in for John Callahan after his death and who at city hall pressured to have that story stifled? Andy Carter?
    Crusader has it right, we can all be replaced for less, including all of the commentator’s, without any drop in service, and that is what corporate America wants. So don’t look for any support when they come for you.

    (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
    • r0y says:

      Possibly all good points, however, wouldn’t that completely change the subject of binding arbitration between the City and the PD?

      While I might even be interested in Chamber issues and such, I would at least want it under a separate topic, so as not to obfuscate the issue; I inherently do not trust people who try this repeatedly, as it only erodes any argument they may have, valid or otherwise.

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
      • catsdad says:

        You are obviously trying to ignore the relationship between the City Council and the Chamber which is at the heart of this controversy. Either your ignorance of the surrounding issues or your association with the Chamber tends to invalidate your objections to arbitration. You may think government workers should provide low performance but as a taxpayer I expect and generally receive the services that I require, and voted for, and do not begrudge these employees their pay and benefits. Just because corrupted officials through the years have been compliant in breaking private unions to stagnate and undermine private salaries is no reason for fellow working class to strive to bring down all middle class salaries and benefits. As a business owner you should realize that if we all earned what you wanted to pay you would soon go out of business for a lack of customers able to buy your goods or service.

        (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
        • r0y says:

          I also inherently distrust people who project and assume.

          FAIL. -1

          (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
    • racket says:

      O. T.

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  4. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    I am glad to see this put before the city voters. They are the ones that voted to impliment this back in 2000, then why shouldn’ they (voters) have the same right to repel this?? Again Union’s and there bullshit of muscling the voters. I’m sorry Mr and Mrs Union worker but we the voters, pay your salaries. It is our RIGHT as voters to do this. You are not working for private industry. If you don’t like the voters having a say on this, then I might suggest you go work in private industry, where you won’t have to worry about this.

    (31) 33 Total Votes - 32 up - 1 down
  5. Dave says:

    SLO city councilman Andrew Carter will be interviewed today (Monday) from 3:30 to 4:30 on KVEC 920 AM on this topic.

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
    • r0y says:

      Thanks for having this segment, Dave. Quite timely & it is appreciated.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  6. r0y says:

    the city is ignoring its obligations to the city …that is, unless you count fiscal responsibility and sanity as obliging the tax payers (aka the city).

    Public Safety people: we’d love to pay you what you’re worth, but we’re broke. You keep taking what is not there, and there will be nothing to take for anyone. This is not the Fed, we don’t get to print money, and bonds (which are worse than printing money) are not going to be sold anymore, as no one is crazy enough to invest in municipal bonds.

    Basically, if the union wants it, it cannot be good for the taxpayers. Period.

    (18) 28 Total Votes - 23 up - 5 down
    • Crusader says:

      I would suggest that on average, SLO City police members could be replaced for a lower cost without a drop in service quality. So it’s NOT only a matter of being broke. It’s about paying police officers what they are worth…

      (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
      • r0y says:

        I am curious, so I’ll bite: why would you suggest this (that on average, they cannot be replaced for a lower cost w/o a drop in service).

        Though I never did said “replace them” I only suggested that they cannot keep taking what is not there: meaning, the city cannot afford to continue paying them their total pay package at its current level.

        Finally, as I understand it, the SLO PD are paid more than any other PD in the area. (browse the Local Government Compensation Reports website, and see!

        (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  7. SLOBIRD says:

    1 for the taxpayers, 0 for the union (this is not over I’m sure)! Worst case, the citizens of SLO start a petition, get the necessary signatures on put it on the November. Only we could put on the ballot the following: Employees pay for all their medical, dental, vision, the employee share of their pension 8 or 9 % of your pay depending on your union (the City would still have to pay their share 8 or 9%), and reduce public safety pay by 10% to come into line with other public safety pay in the State (police only, fire has not gotten their share of binding arbitration due to the financial crisis but will want it when things get better because their pay is usually in line with our police.

    (16) 22 Total Votes - 19 up - 3 down
    • r0y says:

      I’d say, the City would NO LONGER pay a matching or any percentage of any employee benefits. The whole idea of employer-matching benefits was to compete with the private sector; now that our government has so successfully hamstrung the private sector (especially small and medium-sized businesses); I think they no longer need to be so competitive for labor.

      If the employees don’t like it, they can try their hand in the private sector, or better, become entrepreneurs themselves! Government work needs to go back to what it was: low pay for low performance. We still have the low performance, we need to get the pay back in line with it.

      (15) 33 Total Votes - 24 up - 9 down

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