The City of Palo Alto has declared an impasse with the Palo Alto Police Officers Association after six months and 16 formal meetings, according to Public Communications Manager Linda Clerkson.
The two parties are deadlocked over a new contract. The existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) expired June 30, 2011, and Friday’s declaration of an impasse is an attempt to move negotiations forward.
Any new contract would apply to 82 union positions in the Police Department.
Following the economic downturn in 2008, the City , plus city fee hikes.
The Police Officers Association remains the only City employee or labor group that has yet to agree to long-term changes that would reduce their total compensation, according to Human Resources Assistant Director Marcie Scott.
The City asked police union employees to agree to concessions similar to those made by other City employees, including starting employee contributions toward medical and pensions plans, and reducing benefits for new hires.
“The Council’s decision to declare impasse does not come easily. To help address the City’s budget gap in 2009, the POA did agree to defer, for one year, a previously-negotiated raise,” said City Manager James Keene. “While this one-time deferral helped balance the City’s budget that year, and we greatly appreciated POA’s decision, the City needs ongoing structural savings. The City has reached agreements that include employee pay and benefit concessions with all of our other labor groups. We expect the POA to participate fully with our other employees in concessions to help ensure the City’s fiscal sustainability.”