CORRECTION: Police Management Agree to Contribute to Pensions

CORRECTION – The standoff continues. Regrettably, a few hours after the posting of my first Watchdog column, I received an e-mail from Antioch City Manager Jim Jakel informing me that, unlike police management, the Antioch Police Officers Association (APOA) has NOT yet agreed to contribute to any part of their generous 3% at age 50 retirement package. The City of Antioch continues to pay the WHOLE tab, although APOA does have a reduced Medical after Retirement benefit for new hires. Nor has there been final agreement in regard to pay deferrals. Other employee groups, however, have a second lower tier.

Later this month the Antioch City Council will receive an update from City Manager Jim Jakel in regard to the need for an additional $737,000 cut in the budget. Negotiations, however, with the Antioch Police Officers Association are proving successful.

Police managers, who currently pay nothing into their retirement account, have now agreed to pay a 9% share, which will be phased in over the next few years. Additionally, the six officers given a layoff notice last month will be retained, paid for with non-city funds, including a $100,000 contribution by Auto Center owner Tom Nokes.

Understandably, the police officers union continues to have issues with the current understaffing and employee compensation. APOA didn’t receive a raise last year and has deferred the raise they were due to receive in January. Regrettably, their displeasure lead to the posting of an angry YouTube video and distribution of flyers giving out email addresses and phone numbers of council.

In November Antioch residents voted down Measure P, a half-cent sales tax, leery that the tax would hurt local businesses and that the money raised would have gone to the city’s General Fund rather than the Police Department. Due to the current economy climate, it is debatable whether even a parcel tax measure to enhance police coffers would be successful.

Perhaps what APOA fails to comprehend is that many residents are out of work, have seen the value of their homes go down, property taxes go up and voters become more informed (and irate) about overly generous public employee pensions, especially for public safety workers, which have proved to be fiscally unsustainable.

Put the blame on the state legislature which, under Governor Gray Davis in 1999, approved raising pensions for the CHP to 3% at age 50. County boards of supervisors and local city councils soon followed suit, caving in to union pressure and granting their public safety workers similar benefit packages. Antioch’s sworn personnel can retire with 3% at age 50. (There’s a new retirement tier for the newly hired that is a lesser percent at an older age.)

City Manager Jim Jakel, via e-mail, summarized the police compensation situation: “APOA has had 3% at 50 since about 2001 and employee share is 9%. APOA members pay no part of the employee share and again this was the case for years before the 2007 contract. No new tier at this point,  other employee groups have a second lower  tier (2%@55) and reduced Medical after retirement (starting in 2007).  APOA does have a reduced Medical after retirement benefit for new hires.

” At this point the pay deferrals may be what you have said but it is not final and they have come over a period between 2009 and this coming March.”

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One Comment to “CORRECTION: Police Management Agree to Contribute to Pensions”

  1. Slow Poke says:

    It’s not all what it seems to be. I’m sure the PD management association has a “me too” clause meaning if the officers association agree not to pay their PERS contribution then neither will they. They probably agreed to this knowing damn well the officers association will never agree to paying their PERS. Makes the managers look like the good guys though on the surface doesn’t it?

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