Santa Ana Police Pay Offer Called Far Too Little

Times Staff Writer

Santa Ana's latest contract offer to the city's police officers union almost certainly will be rejected, the union president said Wednesday.

The city's offer to the Police Benevolent Assn. includes raises of 5% this fiscal year, retroactive to July 1, and 4.5% next year. Sergeants would receive an additional 2%, retroactive to Jan. 1, and another 2% starting next July.

In December, the union, which represents about 430 police officers and non-sworn personnel, rejected an offer that included the same basic raises for officers but not the additional increases for sergeants, said Sgt. Donald Blankenship, PBA president.

"The offer hasn't really significantly changed," Blankenship said. The union's negotiating team will probably meet next week and could decide to offer a counterproposal, or it may simply reject the offer out of hand, he said.

The union has asked the city to make its officers the highest paid in the county, which, the union said, would mean raises of 11.9% for officers and 24.9% for sergeants. Blankenship said those figures are negotiable.

But in a letter sent to police officers outlining the city's latest offer, City Manager David N. Ream said that, when total compensation is considered, Santa Ana police officers would become the county's highest paid by July 1, 1988, while sergeants would be the second highest paid in the county, about $311 behind Irvine.

The offer would also increase pay for bilingual officers and reimbursement for tuition, and it would allow officers to accumulate more compensatory time, Ream said in the letter.

But Blankenship said the city's new offer also includes a proposal to increase the length of the probationary period for new officers and sergeants.

The city asked the union, which has been without a contract since July, to accept or reject the offer by Feb. 10.

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