Another pay cut for Fresno police officers?

FRESNO, Calif.

Mark Scott says he's looking at cutting every city employees' pay by that same amount. At least one labor union says the city needs to trim elsewhere - before asking police officers to take another pay cut.

The police officers union president says there are many considerations city leaders can look at before asking police officers to again take another reduction in pay.

Fresno City Manager Mark Scott sent his request in an email to the city's labor groups. He's asking them to consider a permanent reduction in pay starting in three weeks.

Fresno Police Officers Association President Jacky Parks wants to see the city look at other options before officers take a fifth concession in three years. "We're saying before we can go there, we need to look at other things first, let's trim the fat before we go there. Because we have been going to employees for concessions and we seem to keep digging a deeper hole."

With a budget gap of $15 million over the next fiscal year, Scott says he sent the message to see if unions are willing to negotiate a deal on an unconditional basis. "We're really hopeful that maybe people would rather make across the board than to watch their colleagues go out the door."

Action News obtained the written response from the Fresno Police Officer's Association to the city manager. It states before the association considers any discussions, the city should first cut in areas that do not impact core services.

Parks said, "We have to look at that, is that a need or a want."

A few of Parks proposals include cutting the downtown and community revitalization department, merging the city's budget and finance departments, getting rid of the independent police auditor and cutting all public information officer jobs.

Scott says he is open to any suggestions. "Were negotiating with everyone all the time. And if they have ideas that they want us to pursue then we will do that. But I can't deal with 13 or 14 bargaining units and try to negotiate different deals with each one of them in the context of this 5 percent."

The top scale Fresno police officer earns around $63 hundred a month. With an additional 5 percent pay cut and additional health benefit cost, it would amount to about 400 fewer dollars a month.

Parks said, "We wanna say hey, let's pause a second here and before we come back to the labor groups and we ask for more concessions and we look at what the labor groups might be able to do as part of the solution and reexamine what's going on here at the city."

The city manager says cuts are being made every day at city hall. Even this week a handful of employees have been laid off.

If the police officers association agreed to the 5 percent pay cut it would be about $4 million a year meaning a large gap would still need to be filled.

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