The union for Vallejo's police officers is suing that city, saying city negotiators made unfair demands and prematurely declared an impasse during talks over a new contract.
“Right out of the gate, at the start of negotiations, the City demanded a reduction in take home pay of $25,000 for each of our police officers,” a press release quoted Vallejo Police Officers' Association President Officer Mat Mustard as saying. "The City’s unfair demands would have resulted in a mass exodus of officers leaving Vallejo – putting the safety of our citizens in jeopardy.”
The police union says officers offered to give up $4 million in pay and benefits, but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement.
The previous contract between the city and Vallejo cops expired on June 30, the press release states. The department currently has 83 officers and 27 vacancies–but once had 165 cops, according to the press release.
The police union's lawsuit also alleges a conflict of interest with Vallejo Councilwoman Stephanie Gomes.
“While the City seeks to decimate the wages and retirement benefits of Vallejo police officers, the City appears to be motivated by a desire to preserve the retirement benefits of other retired employees – Ms. Gomes’ husband,” the press release quoted attorney Rocky Lucia, who represents the union in negotiations, as saying. "The City declared impasse only two days after the VPOA expressed its concerns to the City relating to Ms. Gomes' conflict of interest."
The union's lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Solano County Superior Court, requests the city rescind its declaration of an impasse, "that it stop interfering with its police officers’ rights to fair and collective bargaining; and that the City honor legally-binding agreements with regard to benefits," the press release from the police officers association states.