VALLEJO – The Vallejo City Council is scheduled to vote Thursday on a new contract with the Vallejo Police Officers Association, the city’s police union, which will provide officers with a 16% raise over the next three years.
The city announced the special council meeting late Wednesday. The city and the police union have been negotiating a contract for nearly two years, since VPOA’s current contract expired in March 2022. Negotiations have been contentious, with the council and union trading accusations about who is to blame for delays.
The lack of a contract has been blamed for the city being unable to secure support from outside agencies to shore up policing services as the department grapples with a staffing emergency, which the council declared in July over union objection.
Staffing has plummeted by more than 20 officers since the last contract expired. The union blamed former police Chief Shawny Williams for the decline, but a recent Vallejo Sun investigation detailed the VPOA’s role in contributing to the staffing crisis as officers interfered with the work of two veteran recruiters hired by Williams.
According to a statement from City Manager Mike Malone, the three-year contract includes an immediate 10.16% raise, followed by 3% in 2024 and 3% in 2025.
The contract also contains some provisions to address the department’s staffing shortage. It reduces the annual cap on compensatory time, or the paid time off officers are eligible for after working overtime, from 480 to 300 hours. It also temporarily requires officers to give 14 days advance notice for time off requests until the department has more than 100 sworn officers.
The city is also looking to streamline the medical leave process to reduce time off due to injuries, but that will be a separate negotiation and is not included in the current contract, according to Malone.
There are also incentives for officers who are able to better engage with Vallejo’s diversity and incentives to retain officers as the department has shed officers to other cities.
Bilingual officers are eligible for a 1% pay bump if they speak a specified language – including Spanish, Tagalog, American Sign Language, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi and Hindi.
The contract retains a master officer program, which provides either a 5% or 10% pay increase based on longevity and participation with special qualifying specialties. The council rejected a side agreement regarding the program earlier this year, saying they would prefer to address it in the current contract.
Malone said that the contract also includes savings for the city from the city’s contributions to employees’ retirement and health care by eliminating the city’s contributions to officers’ health savings accounts and reducing the city’s health care contribution for officers with less than 10 years in the department.
Malone also noted that the contract recognizes Juneteenth as an observable holiday and renames Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day.
The meeting will be held in the City Council chambers at 7 p.m. Members of the public can participate in-person, remotely via Zoom or via phone by dialing (669) 900-6833.
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