San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/23/14, 8:24 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The cost of police salary increases required by the city Charter Section 186 will surpass $1.3 million for the 2014-15 year, according to City Manager Allen Parker.

That includes only base salary, but overtime and some benefits will also increase proportionally, Parker said in a statement.

The statement comes less than two weeks before voters will decide whether to change that section of the charter by voting on Measure Q.

“The salary increases are mandatory and are not based upon employee performance, the City’s financial condition, or departmental performance measurements,” Parker says in two-page message that’s also under the name of Mayor Carey Davis. “Of the cities chosen under the Police Safety Unit employees, four (4) are served under contract by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and three (3) are Northern California cities.”

The $1.3 million number sounds about right, said police union president Steve Turner, but to his knowledge it hasn’t been finalized. He’s more bothered by the timing.

“People in the community should realize they are releasing these numbers because they are seeking sympathy for Measure Q,” said Turner, whose union opposes the ballot measure. “It’s always frustrating when you politicize the Police Department. We’re just trying to work to keep the community safe, and once again, we’re being attacked.”

Asked about the timing, Parker said the city had wanted to give the information to the City Council earlier, but non-negotiation by the fire union prevented a full picture.

“We had been waiting to bring it to the council publicly, but because fire hasn’t finished its negotiations on it, we just thought we’d put it out there for public knowledge,” he said.

According to Parker, and to assertions the city has made in bankruptcy court, the fire union has stopped negotiating with the city, which imposed a contract on firefighters earlier this month.
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