Antioch City Manager provides answers about police staffing levels, contract negotiations

By John Crowder

Following are the questions from this reporter and the answers provided by Antioch City Manager Steve Duran regarding city staff’s acknowledged discrepencies in police staffing levels, and city employee contract negotiations, this last year. (See the previous Herald article regarding this issue, here).

Q – I’m following up to see if you can provide me with the information about who was on the respective negotiating teams listed in my earlier email (see below), or direct me to whoever might have that information.

A – The current Negotiating Team for the City is Glenn Berkheimer of IEDA, Administrative Services Director Michelle Fitzer and Human Resources Analyst Denise Haskett.  For the Management Unit was Mike Bechtholdt and Ryan Graham.  For the Confidential Unit was Carol Cline and Tammy Leach.

Local 1’s current agreement was negotiated on behalf of the City by Glenn Berkheimer, former Human Resources Director Deborah McHenry, and Denise Haskett.  The Local 1 representatives were Roland Katz, Business Agent, and employee representatives Todd Northam, Wayne Burgess, Dennis Celoni, Brandon Chalk, Ron Colefield, and Manuel Hicks.

OE3’s current agreement was negotiated on behalf of the City by Austris Rungis of IEDA, Glenn Berkheimer (Letter Of Understanding 2011), and former Human Resources Director Deborah McHenry.  The OE3 representatives were Carl Carey, Chief Negotiator, and employee representatives Larry Munn, Annette Mefford, Harold Jirousky, and Phil Hoffmeister.

Q – Also, were you ever able to get H.R. to sort out the discrepancy with the police staffing numbers over the last couple of years? 

A – An error was discovered in the payroll report originally pulled.  Although the report showed 76 employees, in researching the question it was discovered that employees who had separated between the effective date of the information (October 2013) and the date the report was pulled from the payroll system (October 2014) were dropped from the report.  So, although the requested information was as of October 2013 it did not capture employees who had since separated.  The actual number, excluding per-diem employees and Trainees, was 84.  We have implemented a double checks and balance protocol in an attempt to ensure that this type of error does not occur again.

Q – Can you also tell me on what date management ratified the new MOU which was referred to during the last council meeting, in which they were said to have agreed to reinstatement of the 10% pay cut effective in January, 2015? 

A – Ms. Fitzer was notified of the Management Unit vote ratifying the Agreement on October 21, 2014.

Q – Finally, in reading the Management MOU and the letter regarding the economic triggers, I’d like to know on what basis you believe the trigger letter remained in effect after the sunset date?  This appears to be a separate agreement, covering a certain period of time during which a trigger would have provided for an increase in salary to management employees.  I don’t see that it is incorporated into the benefit agreement at all, or that its sunsetting could realistically be construed as a basis for the furloughs themselves ending. 

A – In accordance with current labor laws, all terms and conditions of employment found in a negotiated collective bargaining agreement (aka Memorandum of Understanding – MOU) remain in full force and effect until a successor Agreement is negotiated, or terms and conditions are imposed following the appropriate impasse procedures.  The Tentative Agreement with the Management Unit that included the trigger language mirrored the termination date of the Benefit Document Agreement – September 30, 2013.  The entire Tentative Agreement had that date, not just the trigger language section.  Had the trigger section specifically stated that the provision sunset on its own as of 9/30/13, the same argument would apply to the entire agreement that authorized the furloughs. However, again, the furlough was always tied to the trigger.  There is no separate language authorizing the furlough 10% salary reduction in the agreements. Therefore, the City would not have had any document to point to as authorization to continue the furlough salary reduction without agreement from the bargaining unit.  Had the City attempted to remove the trigger language outside of the collective bargaining process, or before the completion of bargaining and the appropriate impasse procedures, if necessary, the City would likely face a per se violation of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act and an Unfair Labor Practice Charged filed with PERB.

2 Comments to “Antioch City Manager provides answers about police staffing levels, contract negotiations”

  1. Julio says:

    Now I’m really confused with this double talk and still think the residents of Antioch got the short end of the stick. Again.

  2. Karl dietzel says:

    what a nonsens.
    City employees represent them selfs during
    Negotiations about salaries with the unions.
    Who is represention is the tax payer who has to pay
    The bill?

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