The layoffs of 80 of Oakland's 776 police officers on Monday moved closer to reality Friday as the police union's leaders agreed to all of the city's demands but demanded a three-year layoff moratorium as a prerequisite for any concessions.
It's an ultimatum the City Council says it cannot promise, given that the city's financial woes are expected to only deepen over the next three years.
"We definitely value their work," said Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, a longtime labor leader. "But there's no way financially that the city can do this ... This is a financial crisis we've never seen before."
The union said it would agree to have officers pay 9 percent of their salaries toward their pensions, like the rest of the city's workers, saving the city an estimated $7.8 million this year. In addition, union leaders said they were willing to create a two-tier pension system: Under the current system, officers can retire at age 50 with 3 percent of their salary for each year of service. The proposal would mean new hires could retire at 55 with 3 percent of their salary for every year of service.