I have had inquiries from some of you in recent months regarding the salary reopener that is written in our current MOU. I have attached the language as a refresher;
One time reopener effective no sooner than July 2018:
Salary Comparison: County of Fresno top-Step Deputy Sheriff III will continually be compared to Top-Step of City of Fresno Police Officer through the term of the contract. If base salary for Deputy Sheriff III should go below that of a top step Police Officer, both parties agree they will meet and agree if changes or adjustments shall take place. This agreement is only for increases. If the salary were to decrease, there would be no reason to meet by either party. Any increases, if they should occur, both parties agree the salary will not exceed that of an addition 5%. Consideration will be given of recruitment and retention of Deputy Sheriffs at that time.
Having this language in our contract gives protections to the salaries of all personnel – and basing it off the classification of deputy sheriff vs police officer with the City of Fresno. The purpose of the language at the time of the finalizing of our contract, was to ensure protection since Fresno POA was at the bargaining table during the time we were concluding our negotiations with the County of Fresno. There was still an unknown, as to what Fresno POA would be finalizing with the City of Fresno. The intent of the above language, was to put specific salary language in our contract in an effort to protect what we had just negotiated for all of our salaries. Since Fresno POA was still negotiating a labor contract with the City of Fresno.
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors were clear in their message - they wanted the base salary of a top step deputy sheriff to be the same or more with that of a top step police officer who works at the City of Fresno.
Fresno POA negotiated a successful contract with the City of Fresno. However, that contract fell short of what Fresno DSA negotiated with the County of Fresno.
The salary increases were as follows;
City of Fresno: 2 year contract (June 2017 – June 2019) worth 3% and an increased step for senior officers.
County of Fresno: 2 ½ year contract (March 2017 – December 2019) worth 15% in salary enhancements. (5%, 5%, 5%)
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors recognized the County of Fresno was behind in salary when comparing with the City of Fresno. The BOS voted to authorize the increases, in an attempt to put us all on a level playing field when it came to recruitment specifically, and retention as well for the employees working in the trenches.
Since the passage of our current contract, we have had meetings with County Labor to monitor the salaries enhancements within our contract, and where they compare to the City of Fresno. Below is a salary comparison based on the current salaries of Deputy Sheriff III and Police Officer II.
Police Officer Top Step at their new step increase at the end of their contract will be $7290.00
Deputy Sheriff III top step at the end of FPOA contract and our last increase will be $7338.00
FDSA Board of Directors will be sending something out to all members in the coming months regarding bargaining with the County of Fresno. We will be looking for feedback from our membership in regards to bargaining. Your participation plays a key part in how we negotiate in 2019.
The Fresno POA’s labor contract expires July 30, 2019.
Fresno DSA’s labor contract expires December 15, 2019.
SB 1421 Update
Last September, then-Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1421 into law. SB 1421 provides that, effective January 1, 2019, certain police personnel records will now be available to members of the media and the public by request under the California Public Records Act. As expected, law enforcement departments throughout the state have received a wave of requests for records created prior to January 1, 2019. However, the law on its face does not provide for retroactivity.
As has been reported in the media, law enforcement unions in both Northern and Southern California have been filing actions to enjoin the release of police personnel records on a retroactive basis. For those actions that have already gone to hearing, the courts have granted temporary restraining orders to prevent pre-2019 records from being released until full litigation of the issue can occur. At least one city, Berkeley, is also taking the position that SB 1421 does not apply retroactively.
To date, the City of San Jose has received a substantial number of requests for SB 1421 records but has not yet taken a position on when or whether the City will provide retroactive records. We are observing the situation carefully and monitoring the City's response to SB 1421. At this time, the City Attorney's Office has not yet taken a position on the question of retroactivity. It is tracking developments in other cases.
We, too, await to see if a decision issues that will provide guidance on whether the law operates retroactively. That said, we are prepared to take action similar to that taken by our law enforcement brothers and sisters should the City decide it plans to release pre-2019 records before the courts interpret its obligation under the statute.
Your safety and your privacy matter to us and we take that very seriously when it comes to your personnel records. As more information arises from all of this, I will be updating the membership. Should you have any further questions please direct them to me, as I can get the answers for you.
Lt. Ron Hayes has been directed by the Sheriff to handle all such inquiries coming from the public. As those come in and as we get further into this SB 1421 issue there will be updates to how these are being processed. Please do not reach out directly to Lt. Hayes, as he will be directing folks to the FDSA.
Stay safe out there.