Board Should Send Police Pay Hike Back to Mayor

by Marc Salomon on June 25, 2007

What: Hearing on SF Police Officers’ Association Memorandum of Understanding (POA MOU)
Where: Public Safety Committee, City Hall, Room 263
When: Tuesday, June 26, 10AM
Why: Mayor Newsom has offered the SFPD an election year 24.5% raise with no concessions, the Board of Supervisors must SEND IT BACK!
Who: YOU, your friends and allies standing up against budget busting giveaways to the unaccountable SFPD

Here’s Eight Reasons to SEND IT BACK to the Mayor for renegotiation:

1. No 24.5% raise without performance guarantees and no raises for rogue cops

The MOU includes a 24.5% raise over 4 years based on performance. There are no objective standards for performance nor are there prohibitions on giving officers with past records of discipline and legal settlements big raises. This rewards bad cops as well as good cops.

2. Civilian governance by the Police Commission, not POA, is made difficult

The MOU carries forth language from the previous agreement which allows the POA to call for contract renegotiation whenever the Police Commission changes the departmental general orders. That language should be restricted to only requiring “meet and confer” in the cases mandated by state law, no more.

3. Housing down payment assistance should be loans, not gifts

The MOU offers up $20,000 gifts to officers for down payments on homes in San Francisco. We all want cops to live in the City, but no other down payment assistance programs in the City offer up grants rather loans to be repaid upon sale of the dwelling. The MOU should offer loans of twice as much, $40,000 to facilitate officers to move to the City. Let’s save the gifts for the City’s lowest paid workers, not the highest.

4. No 4 year Agreement timed for mayoral election years, take politics out of SFPD compensation

The MOU current runs for four years, being renegotiated during mayoral election season. The current MOU was one of Willie Brown’s last acts as mayor. The MOU should be slated to be renegotiated during a year when the Mayor and Supervisors are not on the ballot. This MOU should run for 2 years and for four years subsequently after that.

5. Does not prohibit enforcement of pot and immigration laws

The MOU needs to include language which requires the officers to seek and receive affirmative civilian permission to cooperate with the state and federal government law enforcement agencies such as the Interagency Task Force in prosecuting federal and state marijuana and immigration laws.

6. Does not address morale, rogue cops and internal turmoil as recruitment barriers

The MOU claims that the reason why the SFPD cannot recruit cops is because of low pay but this ignores the fact that the department is in turmoil, its reputation precedes it, and that is a reason as much as money for poor recruitment and retention.

7. Does not discourage commuter cops

The MOU needs to include language which creates two career paths based on where the officer lives. While resident in San Francisco, advancement would be faster, while living outside the city, advancement would be slower.

8. No analysis of increased retirement liability

There has not been budget analysis on the impacts of a 24.5% raise on the liability of the City retirement fund in the out years. Officers retire making 90% of their last salary. How does this impact revenues and expenditures in the “out years?”

Please make time to attend this critical hearing. As the Mayor cuts the budgets of services upon which countless San Franciscans depend, he is offering up an unprecedented $80,000,000 (eighty million dollar) raise to the SFPD.

The Mayor and POA claim that they need to compete in the market for recruits. But San Franciscans pay cops well already and are not receiving anything approaching market competitive police services.

The violent crime rate is skyrocketing and the SFPD does not seem poised to do much about it. Violent drug dealing and gang activity have migrated to San Francisco from other jurisdictions where the cops give a damn.

Criminals from the Central Valley have been noted to come to San Francisco to commit crimes of violence because they know the chances of getting caught are nil.

Officers are free to run wild and prosecute cyclists and pedestrians while rogue motorists continue to endanger, maim and kill us. The cops continue to bust people for small amounts of pot and treat people who might be immigrants like dirt.

What does it mean that most San Franciscans receive better services from MUNI operators than from SFPD officers? At least the bus comes. Eventually.

The POA also complains that the Board approved large raises for nurses. This was noncontroversial because nurses do their jobs well while the SFPD, not so well.

The time for police accountability is now. The time to realize the promise of Proposition H is now. The best way we can do this is for all of you and your friends to take time on Tuesday morning to attend the committee hearing and make your voice heard by the Board of Supervisors so that they can do their job and SEND IT BACK to the Mayor.

If you cannot attend Tuesday’s hearing, please take some time to email committee members with “SEND IT BACK!” as the subject line to express your concerns:

Ross Mirkarimi (chair)
Sophie Maxwell
Bevan Dufty

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