Huntington Beach

New police contract wins a final OK

A NEW CONTRACT between the City of Huntington Beach and the Police Officers Association was approved by the city council Monday night (Shutterstock).

A new contract ending a negotiating standoff that stretched over three years received final approval by the Huntington Beach City Council Monday night.

The council voted 6-1 in favor of the pact with the Police Officers Association. Mayor Erik Peterson cast the sole “no” vote.

The contract won preliminary approval on Feb. 19. It will be retroactive to Oct. 1, 2018 and run through Dec. 31, 2019. Total cost of the pact is $822,613 including one-time costs and recurring expenses.

Peterson voted against the contract on the grounds that it provided for more than was agreed to with other bargaining units. “It’s double what everybody else got, or more,” said the mayor. “I think it’s unfair to every other bargaining unit we talked to.”

But the POA replied in a statement. “We must compete in the marketplace to retain and attract the very best people,” said Yasha Nikitin, president of the union. “This contract is a big step in the right direction, and we are thankful to those on the council and in the community who joined us to change the course of dysfunction and ultra-partisan gridlock – a dysfunction and gridlock that has choked our city for years and decades.”

This “memorandum of understanding” includes vacation benefits, retirement medical costs, compensatory time off, a one-time $1200 equipment allowance and changes in the staffing of the dispatch operation.

The next meeting of the city council is set for Monday, March 18 at 4. p.m.

 

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