Not above the law E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   
In California, the Ripon Patrol Officers Association is suing the city over concessions imposed on officers who say they were not notified before a City Council vote as the law requires. According to an article in the Modesto Bee, the Council voted to extend an existing concession of a 9 percent employee contribution to retirement funds and add an additional 2.23 percent contribution during a special meeting held in June.

The association's lawsuit was filed in San Joaquin Superior Court.

Ripon's 16 police officers were the only city employees subject to the 2.23 percent additional contributions for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

That's due to the fact that they are part of the only union in the city that is covered by the California Public Employees' Retirement System, according to the city clerk.

CalPERS increased employee contributions by about 5 percent this year.

The association says it made numerous counter offers to the city that agreed to the additional concessions if officers got something in return.

Options proposed included time off for internal affairs interviews, grievances and labor-management meetings, uniform allowances made reportable to CalPERS.

The lawsuit claims that the city rejected every one of the union's proposals "without reasons or explanations." The suit alleges that the city refused mediation and failed to declare an impasse in violation of the city's own labor rules.

Rather than negotiate, the city simply held a special meeting June 29 to impose the concessions without first providing the union with a written notification of the meeting, according to the lawsuit.

The association is asking the city to rescind the terms and conditions for the 2011-12 fiscal year and go back to the bargaining table.

In addition, the association wants to the city to stop all retirement withholding immediately.

They also want reimbursement of officers for all monies paid into retirement as of July 1, and also pay all the association's attorneys' fees. Estimates for those costs expected to come in at around $25,000.


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