While the doom and gloom of this year's State budget was being haggled out in Sacramento, negotiations were going on between the University of California and the Federated University Police Officers Association, representing the 300 plus police officers that protect the ten UC campuses throughout California. Given the backdrop of the State's fiscal crises, extra effort was needed to get the UC to prioritize public safety. The result of the hard work of the negotiation team which included Andrew Lopez (UC Irvine), Darren Miller (UC Santa Barbara), Scott Scheffler (UCLA) and Joey Williams (UC Berkeley), was the best contract in FUPOA's history and far above anything received this year by any other State funded law enforcement agency.
As PORAC members, FUPOA was able to enlist the support of PORAC in getting our message to the right people. It started with PORAC Vice President Michael Durant addressing the University of California Regents at one of their meetings to explain their staffing shortage and the need to be competitive for recruitment and retention. PORAC President Ron Cottingham made contact with elected officials in Sacramento to assist the cause. The negotiating team did research to show what the law enforcement market was comparing each campus to local municipal and sheriffs departments. Most of the police chiefs at each campus backed their guys and were helpful in fighting for the package.
The result of everyone's efforts paid off with the resulting deal. The three year contract calls for an 8% immediate salary increase in year one with reopeners for additional salary increases in years two and three after new market surveys are obtained. Uniform allowance was increased from $800 to $1,000 per year. POST pay was increased from $175 to $225 per month for an Intermediate Certificate and from $275 to $325 for an Advanced Certificate. Significantly, a new benefit of Longevity Pay was negotiated of 4% after 10 years of service. Finally, 160 hours per year of release time was negotiated for FUPOA Board members. As a result of the increases, UC officers have far surpassed their counterparts at the California State University System and several of the campuses are the highest paid officers in their local law enforcement market.
In light of the State's budget crises, this was a very good result for FUPOA's members. FUPOA is grateful to PORAC for its assistance in making this deal a reality.
About the author: Dieter Dammeier is a partner at Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir and the firm's chief police contract negotiator for the firm's clients throughout California.