City Should Not Cut Police Services

Police should instead contribute more to retirement

Antioch City Manager Jim Jakel said recently that the city’s current 2011-12 budget deficit is projected to increase in the 2012-13 fiscal year, and if the city can’t come to an resolution with the Antioch Police Officers Association (APOA), the city will have to consider changing police staffing hours and reducing services.

Reduce services? Services have already been cut drastically. The police department is understaffed, gone are code enforcement officers and city departments are closed on Fridays.

City officials have been having ongoing discussions with APOA, which agreed earlier in the year to pay 3% of the 9% employee share of their age 50 retirement benefit. This concession expires January lst, although the city‘s contract with APOA doesn‘t end until August 2013. For this small concession, the Council, unbelievably, awarded them two extra holidays a year!

APOA should note that Contra Costa County deputy sheriffs just ratified a two-year contract that not only will cut their pay 2.8% but require them to pay 80% of any increase in their pension premium increases in 2012 and 75% in 2013. Starting in mid 2013, deputies will pay their FULL share of retirement contributions.

In addition, Governor Jerry Brown has come up with a 12-point pension proposal, which he recently presented to his Joint Conference Committee on Public Employee Pensions. One component of his proposal could cost local workers more because of a provision requiring equal sharing of pension costs between employer and employee.

State workers are less likely to be impacted because most state employees are paying more than or close to half the total normal cost. In comparison, most local government employees are paying less than half the normal cost.

As Ed Mendel at Cal Pensions wrote, “A boost in what employees pay for their pensions would allow employers to cut their pension payments by a similar amount. So the governor’s pension plan could provide budget relief for struggling local governments.”

Interesting to Note: CalPERS newsletter (PERSpective Fall 2011) informed retirees that STATE retirees that are enrolled in a CalPERS Medicare health plan may be entitled to a reimbursement of all or part of their Medicare Part B premium provided the Part B reimbursement not exceed the difference between the maximum employee contribution and the premium for the health plan.

Additionally, the state retiree could be eligible for an ADDITIONAL Medicare Part B reimbursement if the retiree has a higher income level and paid a higher premium because they are subject to an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. This provision doesn’t apply to local government workers who are enrolled in a CalPERS Medicare health plan.

Perhaps one of the first budget cuts Governor Brown could start with is abolishing this special perk for state workers. Unfortunately, he too, like some of our local officials, is afraid to buck unions.

One Comment to “City Should Not Cut Police Services”

  1. karl says:

    it can’t be that 100 city employees hold 100,000 residents hostage.
    no more raises, no more extras more nothing. the one’s who do not like the fact that there is no more money, can leave.
    there are hundreds waiting to take their positions for a little bit less.
    cap the salaries to $ 100,000, no ot, no other pay..and we can hire 40 leo’s on the spot.
    increasing the salaries of 100 city employees does not solve any crime.

    and please police union…do not ask for ride a longs, because this is NOT a job evaluation, or performance evaluation….this is a money issue.

    antioch median income is about $ 65,000 avg. the avg income of your union members is $ 170,000 !!! the top 9 avg salary is @ 237,670 !!!

    jakel needs to go…..

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