San Bernardino SealSBPOA

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/15/14, 9:10 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Police union claims that the city’s management “misinterpreted” a tentative agreement are untrue, Mayor Carey Davis said Wednesday — it’s the union that’s trying to change the contract.

“Under the guise of ‘clarification,’ the union now seeks to change the terms of the agreement and add additional burdensome costs over the life of the contract,” Davis said in a news release and later interview. “This action took place after the agreement was approved by both sides. A deal is a deal and the fact that union leadership, through their announcement, would attempt to set aside a judicially mediated agreement and renegotiate is disturbing.”

Added City Manager Allen Parker: “It’s a significance difference — there’s a significant dollar sign difference over the length of the contract.”

Since union president Steve Turner announced two weeks ago that the city “chose to turn its back” on a tentative agreement, city officials have mostly kept to statements that they intend to continue negotiating but can’t give their side in detail because a judicial gag order covers the agreement.

Wednesday’s statement is a significant shift in message for the administration, Davis acknowledged in a conversation after issuing the statement.

“We are being restrained, as all kinds of incendiary things are said, because we still want to negotiate,” he said. “We wanted to keep the channels of communication open.”

Those channels remain open, both sides say. Parker and Turner met Wednesday.

Turner said it’s true, as the union said in a filing with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury, that they’re no longer “actively negotiating,” but they are talking and attempting to set up future negotiations.

“No longer actively negotiating means there’s no active dates set in the future. … They’ve stalled,” Turner said. “I’m sure Judge Jury understood that. I think it’s an important point that I think our community should know, that we’re still communicating. The (Police Officers Association) and city are still communicating with each other, and I think it’s important that we understand at some point, the POA and the city have to get back to the table.”

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