The city council and police union in Palo Alto have spent the last six months trying to reach a new contract. However, the sixteen meetings have failed to secure new terms.
Instead, the city announced it was declaring an impasse and moving to impose new terms on the city’s eighty police officers. The city had been trying to arrange for the employees to pay 10 percent of their healthcare costs, as well as reduce pay by four percent, and create a second tier for new employees that would not be eligible for their pensions until the age of 55.
However, the union representatives say that the city failed to negotiate in good faith and ignored counter offers by the union that would have helped realize the required savings.
It’s likely that any imposed contract will be challenged in court.
From the Mercury News:
The Palo Alto City Council declared an impasse late Friday afternoon in labor talks with the Police Officers Association, setting the stage for a potential showdown in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
The move follows 16 meetings over the past six months to reach a new memorandum of agreement. The previous contract expired June 30, 2011.
“The council’s decision to declare impasse does not come easily,” City Manager James Keene said in a statement. “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.”
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