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Oceanside Police officers get bump in pay

OCEANSIDE — The Police Officers Association reached an agreement with the city for a 4.5 percent salary increase over the next two years.

City Council approved the MOU on Jan. 21.

Councilwoman Esther Sanchez praised police officers for keeping the city safe for residents and businesses. She added that fair pay has led to more officer retention.

“We’re growing as a city and employees deserve to be growing with us,” Sanchez said.

The pay increase for police will be given in increments with a 2.5 percent increase this year, a 1.5 percent raise in January 2016, and an additional 0.5 percent increase in July 2016.

Also agreed upon is an increase in police officers standards of training (POST) pay, meal breaks during 10-hour shifts and life insurance coverage equal to all city employees. The POST pay increase is included in MOU costs. Meal breaks bear no economic impact and life insurance coverage is a side agreement apart from the MOU.

The agreement covers 200 police officers, and will impact the city budget by $396,671 in general fund reserves, $799,063 in the 2015 budget and $633,713 in the 2016 budget. This includes salary and PERS increases.

Following the meeting City Manager Steve Jepsen said there was nothing unusual about the five-month negotiation process that ended a bit above his “comfort level.”

“Negotiations were fair and affordable for the city,” Jepsen said.

Jepsen said all recent agreements with city bargaining units have included some stipend or salary increase due to the upturn in city revenues and sales tax. The city’s financial outlook is optimistic and cautious.

“The city is doing OK,” Jepsen said. “The order of magnitude of the raise is not huge.”

Members of the Police Officers Association could not be reached for comment, and did not speak at the City Council meeting.