The Santa Ana Police Officers Association has made an agreement with the City of Santa Ana to defer their pending raises, which were contractually obligated to begin on July 1 of this year.
Gerry Serrano, the President of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, made this statement in a press release:
As the President of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, I am honored to say that the rank and file sworn and non-sworn employees of the police department met yesterday to prove once again that we love our city. The men and women of the police department have agreed to defer their raises, which were contractually obligated to begin on July 1st of this year.
This is nothing new to us, In the Great Recession of 2008, when the economy of the nation was teetering on the brink of disaster, the city’s labor negotiator came to the Association and told us the city was close to bankruptcy. We were skeptical, but based on a relationship stretching over 50 years, we sat down with our partners at city hall and the city administration and worked out an arrangement, foregoing agreed upon raises and deferring benefits, that was critical in keeping the city solvent. We were the only city labor group to make concessions, to defer benefits, and to come to the aid of the city.
Because of the current world pandemic that no one could have predicted, the Association reached out to the city administration in an effort to meet the financial issues head-on with a plan to bring some relief to the budget. Then, as we were thinking through the contract issues, the world was hit by the senseless death of George Floyd. Rather than dollars and cents, we sought to direct our efforts towards dollars and sense.
The dollars in our equation is the raise that we are due per our contract on July 1st of this year. We are going to forgo that raise for the time being. We will defer it for six months and until next fiscal year. We will extend the contract for an additional six months so that when we next discuss dollars, we will hopefully have a better idea what a post pandemic economy looks like.
This plan makes sense for the city and for the Association. We have made some progress in addressing the budget issue and we have shown the city, the county and, most importantly, the citizens that we are stakeholders in Santa Ana and that we take that responsibility seriously.
We have been stakeholders in the city for the 75 years of our existence. We sponsor youth activities, give scholarships to high school seniors, hold community events, and outfit elementary school students with new shoes and supplies for the school year, among other things. These are things that are done by the Association, not the police department, but the union that represents our employees. We are good neighbors, friends, helpers and citizens. We will continue to be so in the future.
For the present, we need to continue to build relationships with our community. For the future, we are dedicated to working with our elected leaders to keep our city safe for all. Our partnership is vibrant, thoughtful, helpful and most of all, it makes sense.