SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL | Police officers in San Leandro stand to gain favorably from a new three-year contract to be approved Monday night by the San Leandro City Council.

The city will save over $560,000 over the life of the new contract through no wage increases during the first year and employee contributions to their pension in three percent increments over the span of the deal.

Approval of the new contract is virtually a done deal. For the council to vote against it could constitute a violation of the collective bargaining process.

The deal with the San Leandro Police Officers Association, however, constitutes another major setback for pension-busting Mayor Stephen Cassidy, who successfully used the issue to win election in 2010, but has since been unable to draw sufficient support from his council colleagues on this issue and others.

On the pension side, police officers, who previously did not contribute to their plans, will begin paying three percent starting this April and up to nine percent by 2015. The city will pay 100 percent of health care costs from Kaiser Permanente this year, up to $1,587-per-family. Over the two next years, police will contribution half of their health care costs.

Despite no wage increases in the first year, officers will receive bumps in pay during the next two years. Starting in 2014, they will be in line for across-the-board increases of four percent, followed by three percent raises in 2015. In addition, a $1,300 uniform allowance is included in the new deal.

Costs savings to the city will be approximately $153,924 this year, followed by $102,939 in 2014, and $304,519 in the final year of the contract.

Cassidy had advocated in the past for the police union and other large city employees groups to pay in upwards of 10 percent for their pensions. The suggestion was not all too absurd since no other neighboring cities had labor groups fortunate enough not to pay into pension plans. In contrast, Hayward city officials have openly had advocated for employees to contribute as much as 15 percent last year with significant pushback. Yet, the slow rollout of pension contributions by police, eventually to nine percent in three years, is a major concession by the council, which besides Cassidy, is normally viewed as pro-labor.

In closed session Monday evening, the City Council will also discuss on-going labor negotiations with the San Leandro City Employees Association and San Leandro Management Organization, which constitute the vast majority of its city employees.