Residents of El Segundo,
We regret to inform you that the El Segundo City Council has officially declared “impasse” with the El Segundo Police Officers’ Association in regards to contract negotiations. Since our last contract expired on 10/01/14, members of the ESPOA have been negotiating in good faith with the City in an effort to come to a fair resolution. Last week, the El Segundo City Council presented the ESPOA with a “last, best and final” offer, which contained a multitude of cuts. The ESPOA views this “offer” as appalling, to say the least! For the City Council to demand cuts when the City is not only in the black, but also has a bright financial outlook, we believe their “last, best and final” offer to be insulting.
In 2010, during the recession, members of the ESPOA conceded approximately 13% of its salary and benefits in an effort to help the City get through a difficult financial time. In July 2014, we learned the City had recovered well and was projecting a budget surplus for the following fiscal year. When it was time to begin negotiations with the City, the ESPOA proposed a very fair contract, which was to continue with the status quo, asking for no raises. Your El Segundo City Council, however, felt differently.
Last week, the City’s “last, best and final” offer was overwhelmingly rejected by the ESPOA membership. During the discussion, members exclaimed that these cuts were unnecessary and unheard of, especially in a time of financial stability. It was also suggested that our City Council is following a dangerous path similar to what was paved in San Jose several years ago, when the San Jose Police Department was decimated by inappropriate and unnecessary cuts. The ESPOA strongly believes that our City Council is following the lead of the former San Jose City Council that nearly destroyed its own city.
Unfortunately, a number of El Segundo police officers are now looking to transfer to other police departments just so they can maintain their current salaries and benefits and continue to support their families without sustaining cuts. Many of these agencies, including several neighboring South Bay police departments, offer more lucrative salaries and benefits in addition to a much more positive working environment, as created by their respective city leaders.
In 2010, Councilmember Fellhauer ran for City Council on the slogan, “Community First.” Five years later, we ask, “Is cutting your police officers’ salaries and benefits, to the point where officers are now leaving, putting your community first?” We certainly don’t believe it is! It is well known that Mrs. Fellhauer has aspirations for higher political office. The ESPOA feels that using the City of El Segundo as a “stepping stone” to achieve those goals, while discounting public safety, is highly inappropriate.
We the members of the El Segundo Police Officers’ Association pride ourselves in being the best in the South Bay and we will not allow the skewed view of our city council members to change that. We love this city and we won’t let five individuals tear it apart. We are and have always been proud to call this town “Mayberry by the Sea.”
Over the next few weeks, you will see a public awareness campaign dedicated to getting our message out to the residents of El Segundo.
Our message to the City Council:
STOP CUTTING POLICE!!
Your El Segundo Police Officers’ Association