Approval of a Two-Year Extension to the Labor Agreement with the Ashland Police Association

On the agenda for Council 6/15: Approval of a Two-Year Extension to the Labor Agreement with the Ashland Police Association

Here are the highlights:

•July 1, 2021–The employee cost-share increases from 5 percent pre-tax to 7.5 percent.
•January 1, 2022–The employee cost-share increases from 7.5 percent pre-tax to 10 percent

So far so good, right?  But read on…

•July 1, 2021–2 percent COLA + 1 percent HRA VEBA City Contribution
•July 1, 2022–3 percent COLA

Not so good, right?

Note (my emphasis): “In Oregon, population-based comparators are used with an equal number of cities with a population higher and lower than Ashland…. FOR ASHLAND TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE AND RECRUIT AND RETAIN QUALIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS, WE NEED TO TRY AND STAY IN THE TOP THIRD OF OUR COMPARABLES. Requiring a higher cost-share from employees reduces their total compensation, so the City proposed the following wage adjustments to help remain competitive.”

I call bullpucky!!
This attitude is why our compensation for ALL STAFF is far too high.

And then, as always, they play the fear card:
“It is important to note that the City is subject to Arbitration with the Ashland Police Association. So, if the City and the Association cannot agree on contract terms, both parties pay for the contract to go to Arbitration. An independent arbitrator will review the “Last Best Offers” submitted by each party and make a binding decision.”

“The contract extension represents an increase of $135,006 over what was included in the budget for the biennium ($67,503/year).”

So, even given the bloated budget proposed by staff and approved by Council, this is YET ANOTHER INCREASE.

WHO NEGOTIATED THIS GARBAGE?  (Hint: the agenda item is from Adam Hanks and Tina Gray) Also note: ” Staff consulted with City Council in Executive Session on June 1, 2021. May (sic) to discuss the potential of a contract extension instead of re-opening the contract for protracted labor negotiations.”

There is no document attached showing the changes, only historical documents.

Call, write, PM, or talk to your Councilors and tell them that these increases are UNACCEPTABLE.

Dean Silver