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Sacramento city manager to seek court order for arbitration with police union over pensions

01/16/2014 7:18 PM

01/17/2014 7:40 AM

The Sacramento City Council has authorized City Manager John Shirey to seek a court order to compel the city’s police union to go to arbitration to settle the continuing battle over police officer pensions.

City negotiators have been trying for months to convince the Sacramento Police Officers Association to agree to a contract that includes officers paying the full employee share of their pensions. The share is roughly 9 percent of officer salaries.

The city currently picks up both its employer share and the employee share to police pensions. Funding the employee share costs the city $450,000 a month, Shirey said.

Most of the city’s other unions have agreed to fund the employee share of pensions. The city’s plumbers union has said it won’t agree to make those contributions until the police union does so as well.

In a closed session meeting Tuesday, the council voted 6-2 to direct Shirey to go to court.

“The indications are that the police union will continue doing what they have been doing, which is stalling,” Shirey said.

Police union leader Dustin Smith said the union was not stalling and had made a fair offer to the city that “balances what the community needs with what the officers who serve that community consider to be fair and equitable compensation.” That proposal includes police officers receiving compensation that offsets the 9 percent pension contribution.

About This Blog

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Sacramento Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at or 916-321-1085. Twitter: @Ryan_Lillis.

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