(From Press Release – City of Davis) – The City of Davis announced today that the Davis City Council approved a four-year labor contract with the Davis Police Officers Association at its Nov. 5 City Council meeting. The agreement focuses on recruitment and retention of law enforcement employees, including sworn officers, public safety dispatchers and law enforcement support personnel. Effective July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2023, the contract aims to keep Davis law enforcement competitive with other agencies.
Throughout California cities, the market for police officers and related positions is extremely tight and competitive. It is not uncommon for the City to lose quality candidates to other, higher-paying agencies. The City has faced significant recruitment and retention challenges with both the sworn and dispatch classifications, which the contract attempts to address by providing market adjustments of 3.92% and 2.87% in the first year of the contract. The city conducted a total compensation study in 2019 where several positions were found to be more than 5% below the market median salary. In positions where this existed, salaries received a market adjustment to 5% below market median. Better aligning these salaries with comparable jurisdictions will help with recruitment efforts.
A key component of the agreement involves acknowledging the impact of unforeseen changes in the CalPERS pension rates have on the finances of the City. The DPOA now joins three other city employee groups (approximately 87% of the City workforce) in agreeing to a cost-sharing formula in the last two years of the contract where employees will share in unforeseen pension costs up to the equivalent of a percent of salary each year.
“By reaching this agreement with DPOA, the majority of city employees are now covered by an innovative cost sharing agreement that will ultimately benefit the employees, the City and the taxpayers,” said Mayor Brett Lee.
Other notable elements of the agreement include the following:
- Annual 2% cost of living adjustments for each year of the four-year contract consistent with the City’s long-term, financial forecasting model.
- A “Hazard Premium” of 5% for Police Services Specialists who come into contact with toxic, explosive or other hazardous substances. Police Services Specialists are a highly effective way to address many projects and tasks for which the Police Department is responsible but that do not require sworn officers. They perform hazardous activities to implement health or safety procedures relating to the abatement of toxic and/or hazardous sites. By providing the Hazard Premium, the Department will be better equipped to assign Specialists flexibly and with a broader range of available staff to address immediate needs in the community, such as responding to neighborhood concerns for clean-up of homeless camps or dumping sites.
- Shift Differentials of 5% or 2.5% for those who work night shifts or swing shifts, respectively. Providing this incentive will help to ensure that each shift is balanced in terms of years of experience of employees on-duty. Currently, 25 of the City’s police officers (45% of the work force) have five or fewer years of experience.
The estimated fiscal impact for the first year of this Agreement is $708,000 as compared to the City’s 2019-20 Adopted Budget with additional costs in the second year estimated at $246,000. Costs for the third and fourth years may vary, based on the cost-sharing agreement.
The City maintains memoranda of understanding with employee bargaining units. These agreements spell out the wages and benefits for each employee group. The current agreement for the Davis Police Officers’ Association (DPOA) represents 55 sworn officers and 31 civilian employees.