City, POA Agree to Terms on MOU

Sierra Madre Police Dept. logoPosted 12/12/12 – The City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sierra Madre Police Association (PA) regarding terms and conditions of employment at last night’s Council meeting.  The agreement runs through June 30, 2015.  This is the first agreement between the two since the year 2000.

New Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannone, (sworn in at the City Council’s last meeting on Nov. 27th), had this to say about the agreement, which was approved as part of the Consent Calendar for the meeting: “This is the first comprehensive MOU in over a decade and I want to thank the negotiation teams from both the City and the Police Association for coming to an agreement, which did not include any raises.  Taking over as the new Chief I felt it was important to have the MOU in place so as a Department we can move forward to continue to provide quality police services for the community, without having to worry about misconstrued working conditions behind the scenes.”  Chief Giannone, as department head for the City, is not a member of the PA.

According to the Agenda posted on the City website, the agreement incorporates changes and clarifying language to the 2000 document that the Council imposed in December, 2011.  It inserts new language identifying sections of the Personnel Rules and Regulations that apply to PA members, when complaints are removed from the personnel file (consistent with the penal code), and it inserts a section regarding the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA).

It inserts the exact language from the Personnel Rules and Regulations regarding the Educational Program/Tuition Reimbursement.  It reduces the officers’ Uniform Stipend from $80/month to $55/month; and the City agrees to provide job related safety equipment.  The new MOU bases seniority for those in the association on the length of time of uninterrupted service of an employee rather than rank.  It also provides $30,000 for the length of the contract for payment of time and a half for an officer who is held over because another employee has called in sick, and provides that “day trades” can be done within the 28-day work rather than the 14-day pay period.

The agreement also clarifies that to receive the “finder’s fee” for recommending a newly hired officer, the employee must be identified on the employment application. Adjusts how employees are paid for special security detail and criminal court, and increases Training Officer, Detective, and Traffic stipends from $250 to $275.

It inserts the exact language from the Personnel Rules and Regulations regarding sick leave and jury leave and court appearances.  Regarding outside employment, it adjusts the verbiage so that employees must notify the department when there is a change in job responsibilities or classification and/or if an employee discontinues his/her employment with an outside agency.  And it increases the time for responses by a disciplined officer from five business days to 15 calendar days.

According to the staff report, the agreement as presented will not provide significant increases in costs nor significant savings to the adopted balanced 2011-2013 fiscal budget.

In a statement issued after last night’s meeting, Council member Chris Koerber had this to say about the agreement – “I’m pleased that the PA worked so diligently with the City’s negotiating team to reach this accord. In spite of the extremely tight budget outlook for Sierra Madre, both sides exemplified the teamwork necessary to reach this mutually beneficial agreement. This new MOU is another step in keeping Sierra Madre ‘Sierra Madre.’  Neighborhood policing, done through our own Police Department, will continue to be one of the cornerstones of our mountain village.”