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Stockton Cops May Face Wage, Benefit Cuts Due To Bankruptcy

June 26, 2012  | 

Photo: Stockton PD
Photo: Stockton PD

Stockton, Calif., officials have proposed cutting wages of city employees including police officers and eliminating retiree healthcare benefits in its bankrupty plan, reports Reuters.

The northern California city unveiled its "bankruptcy budget" Wednesday in what's expected to be the largest city bankruptcy in U.S. history. The cuts would be implemented after a one-year transition period.

Stockton has already slashed its workforce sharply in recent years, including cutting the police force by 25%.

Comments (17)

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17

Tom Ret @ 6/26/2012 9:27 PM

I guess if you are a liberal in Calif. it makes sense to pay for health care for illegals but not for retired officers. I bet it is going to be a hard sell to recruit new officers for this department.

Dennis @ 6/26/2012 10:17 PM

City officials are taking a play out of the City of Vallejo, CA playbook. They did the exact same thing to bust the police and fire unions; they were successful. Some benefits are over-the-top, but they (city officials) negotiated the agreement in the first place. In the end, Stockton officers will take it in the butt and lose almost everything they bargained for. Other CA cities will follow the exact same play...

R. Lyons @ 6/26/2012 10:19 PM

I have worked in Sherrifffs Dept. (Kern County) and left the dept. due to my wifes bad health and moved out of state and am appalled at what I see with the local agencies and what they have to work with someone will get hurt or die due to the cuts. My prayers go out for all the officers who work the streets and jails. May they get home safe to their families.

Mark Tarte @ 6/26/2012 10:38 PM

Stockton is crime-ridden and has been poorly managed for decades. Years ago, they reduced their staffing to about 1 per thousand population, though their crime was through the roof. The result? No real policing, just racing from hot call to hot call all shift. Now with poor fiscal decisions on the part of the city govt, the workers and citizens of Stockton are going to suffer.

hpearl369 @ 6/26/2012 10:45 PM

What's the possibility of suing Stockton's elected officials for fiduciary mismanagement of funds committed for employee benefits. After all, who spent (possibly squandered) the money that should have been placed in escrow? Very similar to Congress dipping into Social Security Funds for "pork barrel" expenses and programs.

Russ @ 6/26/2012 11:09 PM

HOW RIDICULOUS! This is not right at all... when the residents call 911 they expect someone to come out. When there is an accident, shooting, stabbing, sex crime, robbery, burglary... the list goes on... Then the political IDIOTS running the town into the ground has to tell the retired officers who have put their life on the line for a whole career sorry, no more benefits... nothing. Try to make it on SSI and oh yea... the illegals get all the help needed. Suppose the retired folks should renounce their citizenship.. become a Mexican citizen then sneak across the border into the us and be able to get benefits.... sad America.

FireCop @ 6/27/2012 4:28 AM

How do you sue a city for what you've re-elected year after year? The voters made their bed, they can lie in it. I feel sorry for the officers in this case however, where did everyone think this would end up? The 'new' union sign is 'CLOSED'. We need to dramatically rethink this whole process or else we are just going to see more and more of this type of financial disaster. Better to get a good wage and some benefits rather than a huge cut in wages, slashed work force and eventually no benefits. Think about it. And be safe.

Bob @ 6/27/2012 4:42 AM

I'll bet no one was complaining when they won sweetheart deals involving budget-busting overtime and lucrative healthcare and retirement benefits. CA unions are reaping the harvest of decades of milking the public cow. FireCop is right - people elected the crop of clowns running the city. Now it's time to pay the piper. This is what happens when you run out of other people's money.

ChicagoSuburbs @ 6/27/2012 6:48 AM

In my area, there are administrations attempting to bankrupt the towns/villages in order to get out from under the union contracts. Sounds crazy to some, but I'm seeing it first hand.

Sgt. Rick (Retired) @ 6/27/2012 7:23 AM

Police officers especially, because we deal with life and death on a daily basis, must accept that everything in life is FINITE! The concept of police and public employee unions is relatively new, for police going back to the 1980's in some places, and now it is over. The Politicians squandered the wealth and the whole community will suffer, but Public Employees will suffer more. Every month I receive my pension check and realize that a month will come when it may not be there. In 2.9 years I received every cent I put into the fund so everything after that is a gift, and the gift season may be over soon. Yet in every one of these cases where municipalities go bust, you can be sure that the politicians took care of themselves before the bubble burst.

Tom Ret @ 6/27/2012 11:24 AM

What is Obama's plan for the economy? It appears that he supports amnesty for illegals and must also think it will help the country by stifling Arizona's efforts to enforce immigration laws and flooding the country with more unemployed manpower. He wants to double down on the green jobs and block anything to do with fossil fuels such as the Keystone pipeline. He also wants to hire more cops, firemen and teachers apparently to help out those municipalities that are already bankrupt and can't afford the ones they have. Of course he thinks the private sector, which pays the taxes that supports the cops, firemen and teachers, is doing just fine. He also thinks taxes aren't high enough, especially for millionaires, which ought to stimulate the economy and bring back business to these hard hit communities. How many California elected officials agree with this line of thinking?

advisor2u @ 6/27/2012 2:08 PM

Living near Stockton and watching the past decade of squandering their money on "projects" so they would be the "big dog" in the area, it is no wonder they have come to this. You can't just blame the city govt. The employee unions need to accept responsibility for the inflated contracts ("we have to attract the best so we need to pay what the bay area pays"). You live in the valley folks. Wages are less. If you stopped buying all the "toys" the overtime paid for and learned to live on your base pay ... you would be OK and would not need those 20% contracts every couple of years. This does not absolve the city council or manager... however all are to blame, and all will have to pay ... some more than others. Stockton did not need the new ice arena or baseball diamond ... but they got it ... and now the employees will pay ... if you are unhappy there ... move ... or live with it .. and hope the next council shows some good old fashioned common sense....This is what you get with a Democratc controlled area (see CA) and spend ... (see Obama) ...

DEADMAN @ 6/27/2012 3:06 PM

Run for office,replace liberal pukes,change funding,cancel any funding for illegals,(ANY),stop projects,except vital ones.Assist city,county and state with paring down expenses like that hi-speed rail fiasco and any new construction,pare down,don't butcher.,go back to square one.
In Cleveland,they're planning on spending millions on new projects,from casino tax revenue they don't have,can't stop spending.VOTE REPUBLICAN,REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER !!!

DEADMAN @ 6/27/2012 3:06 PM

Run for office,replace liberal pukes,change funding,cancel any funding for illegals,(ANY),stop projects,except vital ones.Assist city,county and state with paring down expenses like that hi-speed rail fiasco and any new construction,pare down,don't butcher.,go back to square one.
In Cleveland,they're planning on spending millions on new projects,from casino tax revenue they don't have,can't stop spending.VOTE REPUBLICAN,REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER !!!

John Wright @ 6/27/2012 5:46 PM

Stockton is a prime example of when the inmates take over the asylum. White middle class run for your lives!

searcher5 @ 6/29/2012 8:41 AM

Most officer/firefighter pension plans are non contributory or limited contributory. What that means, is that approximately every 30 years, the city/county will be paying for a second staff, the one retired and the one on duty. Live long enough, and it's a third. This will happen more and more, and this is why many have gone to standard 401k type retirement plans. It's expensive for the plans currently in place and most of the jurisdictions are not diligent enough with the investments to make up the differences, even when there is enough to begin with. I don't know of an officer that has been on for more than 10 years that has paid very much into their own plans, but expect to get a sizable return. It's the bill of goods they were sold, so no blame being placed there except with the jurisdictions that are running out of money.

Capt David LACO Ret @ 7/3/2012 3:33 PM

Stockton gambled on housing starts and other projects and guaranteed city personnel automatic raises up to 7%. City hall had their head up their ass, BUT, no one in city services was really paying attention to the city income vs the expenses.

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