San Antonio Police Union To Start City Contract Negotiations Friday, With Added Pressure Of May Ballot Measure That Could Strip Its Bargaining Power
Negotiators for the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Police Officers Association will meet Friday to start working out the terms of a new contract through the process of collective bargaining, ahead of the current agreement's September 30 expiration date.
How does the negotiation process work? What are the rules? What is the expected timeline to reach a deal?
What does each side hope to achieve? What will be the major sticking points?
And there's a twist: San Antonio's May election ballot will now give voters a choice to repeal Chapter 174, which gives police the right to negotiate wages, working conditions and discipline through collective bargaining.
The measure is the result of a petition by Fix SAPD — an activist organization aiming to increase police accountability in San Antonio — which received the state-mandated 20,000 signatures needed to be included on the May ballot.
A separate effort to add the repeal of Chapter 143 — related to police disciplinary procedures — has not meet the signature threshold to be added to the ballot.
What are the pros and cons of repealing Chapter 174? Do other Texas cities have rules like it on the books?
What will change if this proposition passes, and how would that affect the City's contract with San Antonio police?
- John “Danny” Diaz, incoming president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association
- Maria Villagomez, Deputy City Manager; will serve as lead negotiator for the City of San Antonio
- Ananda Tomas, deputy director of Fix SAPD
- Emilie Eaton, San Antonio Express-News criminal justice enterprise reporter
- Joshua Fechter, reporter covering City Hall and San Antonio politics for the Express-News
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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, February 10.