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The Source: What Did Two Year Talks Lead To On Police Contract?

police respond2
Ryan Loyd
/
TPR News

After two years of negotiation, and 6 months of tough talk before that the City of San Antonio and its police officers union have a contract before City Council.

Though the new deal came without blue flu or staffing cuts, their was no shortage of tough talk and animus. A contentious mayoral race, and a lawsuit to boot, the protracted negotiation was not without its drama.
 
The city was pushing its message that the rising costs of healthcare would have public safety consuming 2/3rds of the annual city budget unless SAPD officers started chipping in.  Here is a clip from City Manager Sheryl Sculley in August of 2014

"Is there anyone out there who doesn't contribute towards the health of themselves and their loved ones?"

The big stick in the city's arsenal these past few years has been their lawsuit over the constitutionality of a contract clause keeping the current contract terms in effect for 10 years without a new contract, called an evergreen clause.

The San Antonio Police Officers Association wanted the city to drop its lawsuit and many times left the bargaining table in protest over the continued lawsuit.  

They won an early court battle over that evergreen clause here's Police Union head Mike Helle on TPR's the Source soon after that win

"In answer to your question, I can put it in two words, total vindication. Our membership is elated we had such a resounding victory from the judge"

That case is still under appeal and will need to be dropped by the city in order to approve the current contract proposal.

What do you think of the deal?  Did the city do right by its boys in blue? Did the City get steamrolled? 

Guest:

  • Gilbert Garcia, metro columnist for the San Antonio Express-News
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive