Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 03/30/2012 06:07:44 PM PDT

CLAREMONT – After months of rancor, lawsuits and even some threats, the City Council and the Claremont Police Officers Association have reached a tentative agreement on a 3-year labor contract.

The council is due to vote on the contract at its April 10 meeting, city officials said. The CPOA will present the agreement to its members on Monday.

The negotiations have gone on for months as both sides argued over increased employee pension payments, pay increases and even a dispute over where the union could pass out fliers at the annual Village Venture event.

Mayor Larry Schroeder announced the tentative agreement out of closed session at the regular council meeting this week. He said the vote in closed session was not unanimous but the actual vote was not released.

In the tentative agreement, the CPOA agreed to pay the remaining percentage of its California Public Employees Retirement System contribution starting July 8, 2013 and withdraw the two legal actions it filed against the city.

Union members currently pay 6 percent of the employee PERS contribution and before the end of the contract term will pay the full 8 or 9 percent depending on the employment classification.

City council members, during the length of the contract, agreed to pay union members cost of living adjustments totaling 5 percent.

CPOA president Claremont police Cpl. Rick Varney said the deal was reached after negotiating team members met with city representatives.

He said he did not anticipate the deal collapsing when it is presented to the union membership.

“It’s a formality to have our vote,” Varney said. “The city and our negotiating team worked well together. It’s amazing what you can do without attorneys.”

Schroeder said the agreement allows the council to achieve several long-term goals.

“These are aligning the police union members to be on the same negotiation schedule as other units,” he said, “and all employees will be paying the full amount of their share of PERS contribution by the end of their contracts in June 2014.”

Councilmen Corey Calaycay and Opanyi Nasiali, when reached Friday, declined to discuss the matter because the vote was reached in closed session.

To read entire story, click here.