SLO city, police union hit impasse

June 14, 2012

San Luis Obispo’s negotiations with its police officer association have stalled prompting the city to declare that their bargaining efforts are at an impasse. [Tribune]

As a result, negotiations will transition into a more formal process that  includes either going into mediation or discussions with the city manager.

Following that, a fact finding hearing allows both sides to ask questions and air concerns. If both sides are not able to reach an agreement, the City Council will make the final decision.

The city is seeking to cut 6.8 percent per employee as a way to balance its current two-year budget.

The union and city leaders have battled over issues of procedures and binding arbitration for several years. City official said they acted legally in bringing the issue to the voters.

In August 2011, more than 70 percent of voters elected to end binding arbitration and to allow the city to change employee retirement benefits without seeking voter approval.

A state agency assigned with administrating union bargaining laws has filed an unfair practices complaint against San Luis Obispo because of city officials alleged failure to meet and confer with members of the police union over binding arbitration

City officials and union negotiators were slated to meet at an informal conference on June 5 to see it they can could reach an agreement. As a result of their failure to come to an agreement, in September or October, a formal hearing will be set by the Public Employment Relations Board.



  1. msminiver says:

    Unbelievable, since Katie came on board the City has claimed that they can not afford to pay employees their current salaries because the City is broke. The City claimed during the Financial Sustainability Task Force press releases that this task force is necessary because the City’s current employee cost levels are not sustainable. Go back a few more years (2005) and the City claimed that the ½ cent sales tax (Measure Y) was necessary in order to continue to provide basic services, such as road repairs, increased code enforcement (proactive enforcement) and other essential services. However, since Measure Y was passed the City has amassed a $63 million in liquid assets in addition to a massive stock and bond portfolio ($76 million) as revealed by Stephen Barasch of the San Luis Obispo Property Owner’s Association in the Tribune on top of the City’s $20 million reserve. So now after all this, the City is putting the squeeze on City employees to cut their pay, but City leaders within the City of San Luis Obispo on average per the Tribune’s website make 50% more than any other comparable agency leader within the County. So will these concessions of employees go into the same liquid cash slush fund as the $63 million? Will the residents of San Luis ever see the benefit of these concessions? Will Katie ever answer why and how the City was able to amass the $63 million slush or Bell fund? Will City leaders cut their salaries to the County average? How will the $63 million be used? Why was the $63 million Bell fund kept secret as Steve Barasch indicated? When will the City of San Luis residents see transparency in City government? Will transparency only come about once the City of San Luis reaches national headlines like the City of Bell?

    (12) 12 Total Votes - 12 up - 0 down
  2. rogerfreberg says:

    I think the city manager needs to show the big picture… where are the cuts coming from… hope they seriously don’t have a planning department of more than one person?

    Has the city manager taken the lead with a 20% cut?

    Negotiating with the unions is fine… but show us the whole picture.

    (13) 17 Total Votes - 15 up - 2 down
  3. mkaney says:

    What a bunch of greedy jerks…can’t take a 6.8% cut to do their share!? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, fire them all!

    (8) 32 Total Votes - 20 up - 12 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Next time you need help, don’t call the cops.
      Call a Republican !
      See what happens !

      (-8) 34 Total Votes - 13 up - 21 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        SLO cops make a 104k. A 6.8 cut puts their pay to 96,928, Still close to 100k. Isn’t that enough money?

        (14) 24 Total Votes - 19 up - 5 down
  4. SLOBIRD says:

    Let’s put a vote to the people about 1) employee’s should pay their share of retirement and the City should pay their share just like in the real world where us taxpayers for our share of social security and the employer pays his share and 2) employee should have health insurance paid by employer, no family memebers paid for, use it or lose it and the employee pays for vision, dental, 3) employees get 15 days max for vacation and 10 days of sick leave of which 2 days can be used for family leave… Welcome to the taxpayer’s world! Don’t pander to these OVERPAID Slo cops!!!!!

    (15) 39 Total Votes - 27 up - 12 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Also, add that the taxpayers are no longer on the hook for the under-funded pension system.

      (11) 27 Total Votes - 19 up - 8 down
      • bobfromsanluis says:

        And whose fault is it that the pension system is underfunded? It isn’t the union’s fault, that much I can tell you. Look towards our elected officials who hired the city manager (past and present) who made the decisions about what got paid when; and of course, Wall Street where the investments for pensions were robbed by the “banksters” wringing every single dollar they could to enhance their bonuses and short sells and any other means they used to swindle investors. Criminal behavior, never prosecuted.

        (-1) 25 Total Votes - 12 up - 13 down
        • kayaknut says:

          All I know is that my 401k has dropped and I have had to rethink my plans and nobody is on the hook to make up for the loss. I have just have to live within my means. The public pension system should be made to support itself without the taxpayers making up the difference. They just have to adjust their payouts, or ask those that plan to draw from it to put in more, just as I may have to do depending on how and when I plan to retire without requiring the taxpayers to kick in more. The taxpayers don’t get a refund when the public pension system is doing good. The taxpayers are tired of the public pension system spreading out the losses but keeping the profits.

          (8) 22 Total Votes - 15 up - 7 down
          • Slowerfaster says:

            So whose fault is that ?
            You bought into the Republican…no regulation / casino banking system that was DESIGNED to fail. THEY went short and made gazillions, while ordinary people that put their $$$ into ‘trusted’ funds got skrewd.

            They know who you are… a reliable dupe.
            You keep voting against your own interests and for these thieves that have you in their pocket.
            You DESERVE to get fleeced, but it hurts too many others .
            It does no good to tell you to stop being stupid.

            (-12) 26 Total Votes - 7 up - 19 down
            • kayaknut says:

              Who fault, not sure but I know the taxpayers are tired of making for the losses.

              A vote sounds good, put it up to the voters as too whether the taxpayers should be on the hook for the public pension fund. If we vote yes then so be it if not let the system stand on its own.

              (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
            • BeenThereDoneThat says:

              Alright it’s time to speak up about your one side view of reality. You only want to bash republicans and not accept any fault on the part of the democrats. I have said in other posts I blame both sides. Well here is a link that pretty much says the same. It is bi-partison blame to go around, not your one world view of partisonship.


              (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down

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