After months of closed session meetings, the Turlock City Council will consider approving a new contract for Turlock police officers at a special meeting on Tuesday evening.
In summer of 2014, Turlock Associated Police Officers (TAPO) were involved in contract negotiations with the City of Turlock, but ultimately rejected the City’s offer prior to the Oct. 14 Council meeting.
TAPO has continued negotiations with the Turlock City Council, which now includes two new members, Mayor Gary Soiseth and Councilmember Matthew Jacob, to craft a deal they believe gives them fair compensation.
“The TAPO negotiations teams has worked diligently with the City Council to come up with a contract that we believe to be fair based upon the confines of the me too clauses the previous Council approved with other labor groups,” said TAPO President Sgt. Russell Holeman. “While the contract will still leave TAPO members below the median of comparable cities, this contract gets us somewhat closer to the median."
“I would like to thank Mayor Soiseth and the rest of the Council for their willingness to hear us out concerning our total compensation and ways to close the gap without triggering the me too clauses that other labor groups received.”
Now it is in the hands of Turlock City Council to approve the memorandum of understanding with TAPO, who has been working without a contract since summer.
If approved, the City of Turlock would adopt a three-year memorandum of understanding with TAPO dated August 1, 2014 through July 31, 2017.
Soiseth commended the members of TAPO for taking a pay cut years ago and is glad that the Council has been able to create a fair offer for the police officers.
“Our police officers were selfless when they took pay cuts during the economic downturn,” said Mayor Gary Soiseth. “I’m proud of this Council for offering proposal that restores their wages and also gives a fair compensation package."
Councilmember Amy Bublak, a Modesto police officer, also complimented the City Council for their continued work to propose a fair wage structure for TAPO.
“I would like to thank Council for crafting a fair proposal and thank TAPO for their patience and professionalism while finding a resolution to contract disagreement for the last seven or so months,” said Bublak.
Bublak had been involved in Council’s negotiations with TAPO from when they first began last summer.
At times, the City of Turlock and TAPO have been at odds, however appear to be moving in a better direction.
In August of 2013, TAPO filed a lawsuit against the City of Turlock for $45,000 in loss wages after the City of Turlock allegedly continued to enforce a sunset clause that had expired on Oct. 31, 2012.
On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council will also host a workshop to discuss the City of Turlock’s Building Department, as part of the series of workshops Soiseth’s 100-day vision.
Turlock City Council will meeting 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.