Ignacio Wants More Concessions from OPD



Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente said today that he believes the Oakland police union should agree to more compensation concessions than the union has indicated it is willing to do. De La Fuente declined to reveal the police union’s most recent offer at the bargaining table, but said in an interview that he believes cops should agree to give up an additional $2.3 million a year.

Mayor Jean Quan has said that she wants the cops union to begin paying 9 percent of its pension plan, and is looking for the police and fire unions to make $21.7 million in concessions. De La Fuente indicated that he has no qualms with the latest offer from the firefighters’ union, and only objects to the police union’s stance.

The councilman, himself a union rep, said that if the cops’ union refuses to agree to more givebacks, then the city should force cops to take an additional five unpaid days off a year. Quan has said that she plans to require cops to take fifteen unpaid days a year if the union refuses to make any concessions at all. In other words, De La Fuente thinks cops should be required to take twenty unpaid days off annually. Police officers, however, would not be required to take unpaid furlough days under Quan's plan if they agree to givebacks.

The mayor and the council appear to be very close to striking a tentative deal with the city’s unions. Quan has said she wants $28.7 million in total concessions from all the unions in order to avoid closing libraries and slashing other services. De La Fuente indicated that a proposed comprehensive deal may be made public next week. “By next week, you’ll see the difference” between what he thinks the police union should do and what the union has offered, he said.

De La Fuente also said he decided to make his opinions known today on his own, because he said he could not reach agreement with his colleagues. He had been working on a proposal with Council President Larry Reid, and Councilwomen Jane Brunner and Desley Brooks.

De La Fuente said he also wants to cut more from city management, rather than slashing front-line staff. In a budget memo released today, he suggests eliminating three high-paying jobs in the city attorney’s office. His budget memo also states that his plan would result in no cuts to libraries, the city’s arts program, and to tree trimmers. But he acknowledged that those cuts won’t likely happen anyway unless the city’s unions refuse to make substantial concessions.

Clarification: The original version of this post did not make it clear that De La Fuente is proposing that police officers take five days of unpaid leave a year if their union agrees to concessions, and twenty unpaid days off if the union does not.