Salinas City Council passes new contract for police

Salinas police, city reach tentative contract agreement

SALINAS, Calif. - Council members voted six to one to pass the three-year contract through the end of 2018. The city is projected to put in almost 12 million dollars over this period.

"We are happy that this process is over," union president Gabe Carvey said.  

The vote Tuesday night comes after almost a year of negotiation between the Salinas Police Officers Association and the city of Salinas.

Carvey says there are more people working at an In-N-Out burger than patrolling the streets, and that needs to change.

"It is a four-percent salary increase; however it's broken into two-percent market adjustment, trying to bring the police officers to what the market is and it's a two-percent of cost of living type of raise," Carvey said.

The contract also puts more money towards pensions and gives a three percent bump to those with 10 years or more of service, but Carvey says it isn't just about money.

"Our main focus shouldn't be money because how much money would we give to save one?" Carvey said.

But money is now the focus for the City of Salinas, with $11.6 million needed to fund the contract.

"It does make it challenging to manage our budget, we do have a structural deficit in the general fund.... We are looking for some ways to cut other costs because public safety is our priority," said Salinas city finance director Matt Pressey.

Residents are hoping the extra help for police will provide that.

"It will bring a sense of tranquility to them to be able to say, you know what, I can take a step back and I can take a breath," Salinas resident Anthony Rocha said.

The POA says people still have to be patient because changes will take time.

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