I got a couple of e-mails from readers after my post last night saying I had skipped over the details of the two proposals at the center of labor negotiations between the Mayor’s Office and the Police Officer’s Association.
A couple of local cops have also e-mailed me to point out that they have seen their take-home pay significantly cut in the last few years, despite the pay raises they have received. That’s because they have been asked to contribute increased amounts to their pensions in recent years.
Reader JR sent me a long note that included this statement:
I lost around $500 a month in take home pay when this change was implemented. Since my wife is also on the department we lost double. This is pretty tough when you figure in the fact we bought a house in the height of the market.
JR’s letter echoed a claim that I’ve heard from local cops for some time: That the mayor has consistently cut into public safety employment benefits while promising retrospective pay raises to fill those gaps.
Certainly, the POA’s position is that Mayor Jerry Sanders hasn’t made good on those promises. POA President Brian Marvel told me last night that local most police officers view the recent pay raises as filling in the gaps that appeared when cops were asked to pay more into their pensions. For the city to now ask police officers to make more cuts is therefore unreasonable, he said.
“We understand that the city is in financial hardship, but to ask the associations to pick up the entire deficit is unfair,” Marvel said.
I’m still waiting for a call back from the Mayor’s Office so I can get the mayor’s point of view.