After two plus years, an agreement between the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Police Officers Association.
It’s a mediated five-year agreement.
“If approved by the City Council and union membership, we’ll have a contract,” Mayor Ivy Taylor proclaimed on the steps of City Hall Wednesday morning.
“Police officers will receive the pay raises that they deserve, while for the first time in city history, they’ll also contribute to the cost of healthcare for their families,” she said.
Under the agreement, the officers will get a 17% wage increase over five years, including 3% lump sum in the first year, then 3% increases in years two, three, and four. Year five, those officers get a 5% pay bump.
The officers will pay no monthly health premiums for themselves, but would pay premiums for their dependents under one of the two offered plans. One offered plan, the Consumer Driven Healthcare Plan, would mean no premiums for the officer or dependents.
The so-called “Evergreen Clause” would be reduced to eight years, instead of 10, and the city will drop it’s lawsuit against that contentious clause if police union members ratify the agreement. If the deal is not approved, the lawsuit continues.
“It’s a good day today,” SAPOA President Mike Helle said.
He said no one got everything they wanted, “but we got it done, it creates stability for the future.” And will allow the police department to compete for officer candidates in a more competitive way.
Many of the councilmembers KTSA’s Frank Alosa spoke with were happy with the deal.
“For the first time in two and a half years, both sides have come forward with something they jointly recommend,” Councilman Joe Krier said.
But he said the devil is in the details.
“And make sure, number one, that it provides us with the best police and fire that we can afford, and number two, it is something that the city can afford in the long term,” he said.
“It still needs to get over the goal line,” Councilman Cris Medina told KTSA, saying the union members need to approve it. But he thinks it’s a fair deal.
“The nature of work that they have is very dangerous and I think the benefits and the benefits package, and all that combined, reflect that,” Medina said.
Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales is happy with the agreement, specifically the potential for a dropped lawsuit.
“I believe we should have never filed that lawsuit against the ‘evergreen,'” she said. “So I’m glad to see that one potentially taken off the table, at least closer to taken off the table.”
“We’re hopeful that the mediated settlement will be ratified within the next 60 days,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said.
That ratification would need to come from the police union members, before it can reach the City Council for approval.