Councilwoman Linda Ryno cast the lone “no” vote against the new contract with the Ceres Police Officers Association because it extended a retroactive pay increase.
Ryno said she agreed with nearly everything in the new employment agreement which is costing the city $504,000 annually but she couldn’t agree with the retroactivity.
“We did not give that to any other group and I don’t believe we should single out any particular group and give them retroactivity,” said Ryno. “That’s my only comment.”
She was outvoted by Mayor Chris Vierra and councilmembers Ken Lane and Bret Durossette. Vice Mayor Mike Kline was absent.
The low-key approval of the new contract on Sept. 24 capped a contentious negotiation period. After the bargaining unit and city reached impasse in negotiations, police rallied residents to show up at a recent council meeting for their cause.
Police officers were working without a contract since June 30. The new agreement covers two years from that date.
The agreement gives officers a cost-of-living pay adjustment to the base wage of 1.5 percent for the next two years. It also gives a 1.5 percent equity adjustment each year to classifications, as determined by a new compensation study.
The contract calls for “classic” members with 10 years or more (and hired before Jan. 1, 2013) to be eligible for an additional four percent to offset them beginning to contribute a third of their employee-share of retirement costs.
Officers also receive an increase in their uniform allowance to $1,250 per year. There are also increases from 7.5 percent (less than 90 college units) and 10 percent in the incentive to obtain a POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) Advanced Certificate (for 91 or more units).
The new agreement has provisions to assure compliance with law, and identify and clarify policy and practice.