FPOA approves concessions package

FRESNO, Calif.

The Fresno Police Officers Association voted to approve a concession package worth more than four million dollars. It also kicked in extra money to help balance the budget, but the sticking point now is the length of the union's contract with the city.

On Thursday, more than 725 members with the FPOA voted on the Mayor's deal and they were given three options.

One, to accept the Mayor's request of giving up $4.1 million in wage and benefit cuts, without getting anything in return; Two, to agree to the FPOA'S offer of $4.1 million in concessions next year, plus give up another $1.6 million over the following two years. In return, the union would get a one year contract extension set to expire in 2016. The third option was to not accept any of the first two proposals.

Of the members who voted, 82% voted in favor of the FPOA's offer. Which means the Mayor's proposal is off the table at least for now.

"I understand that they don't want to give an extension, but we have to be realistic. Mark Scott, the city manager, said several times that the city is cash poor. We know that. We agree with that," said Parks. "They have a decision. If they truly need the money and it's for the betterment of our community because its cash poor, they have the ability to draw on 5.7 million dollars."

Meantime, City spokesperson Mike Lukens said the city will not comment until all the union votes are in and the FPOA contacts them about it's decision.

25 union managers still have to vote Friday. On Wednesday, Mayor Swearengin expressed her hope that a deal would be reached without a contract extension.

"Giving an extension really costs the city," said Swearengin. "We anticipate it will cost us at least 10 million dollars in savings we would otherwise achieve through negotiations."

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