SACOP: City Blames SAPD for No Salary Increase
SAN ANGELO, TX – Yesterday morning, the year long battle for San Angelo police officer pay raises came to an end when the police department rejected the City’s newest offer of paying lump sums rather than a full pay raise.
During yesterday’s Meet and Confer meeting, members of the San Angelo Coalition of Police (SACOP) and City officials met to discuss salary increases for officers in the San Angelo Police Department. However, the newest offer from the City meant that officers would not receive a pay raise but rather, a one time paid lump sum of an estimated $342,000. This offer was rejected by 62 percent of the estimated 140 police officers that voted on the new resolution.
In an interview after the meeting, President of the SACOP Doug Thomas said, "the City [was] contractually obligated to give us a pay raise in October of 2016, [the City] did not, and the officers feel like if you're contractually obligated, you should meet your obligations,” However, Thomas remained optimistic that the city council members would find a way to pay SAPD officers pay raises during their next city council meeting.
Upon hearing Thomas’ statement, the city declined to give an immediate comment, reassuring the media that a written statement would be released soon. Several hours later, the City released their statement in which a city representative asserted that they were “disappointed” in the SAPD officers. Furthermore, the city representative added, “that the [lump sum] payment would have met obligations of the Meet and Confer contract for the remainder of the current fiscal year,” and that the proposed contract would have “bridged a gap to allow City management, the SACOP, and the City Council to work together to increase officer’s pay moving forward.”
However, it seems that the City’s comments have made things worse. In a press release issued late last night, Doug Thomas said he was shocked and disappointed “to see the City management attempting to blame officers for the City’s refusal to honor its commitments and promises.”
SACOP members echoed Thomas’ feelings and expressed their disbelief in the City management that is now “opting to play the ‘blame game’ in an attempt to disguise reality.”
In the public press release, SACOP detailed that both SACOP and City officials agreed, via contract, to “implement annual salary increases” geared towards improving salary levels in the SAPD in order to stop the recent “turn overs at the Police Department and become more efficient with tax payer money.”
Since September of 2016, the SAPD has been deterring all chances of annual pay raises. In October, SAPD members voted to deter their salary increase again until April 2017 so that the City could pay for insurance premiums, as they were projected to increase for all city insured officials. Thomas added that during these determents, “SACOP negotiated in good faith”
The City suggested one-time payment of lump sums “leaves [San Angelo] officers to face additional years of being underpaid, killing morale and damaging [its] efforts to recruit and retain talented individuals.” SACOP further believes that San Angelo citizens pay for and deserve better efforts by City staff.
Officers have trusted the City to honor their commitments, and in a city where your word is your bond, police officers want now, more than ever, for the City management’s words to mean the same.
Click here for the full press release from the SACOP.