The Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) Friday declared an impasse in contract negotiations with the City of Los Angeles.
The announcement at a news conference on the steps of City Hall was particularly significant because labor impasses typically are called for by management or municipalities, rather than labor organizations.
In July, more than 6,500 LAPD officers voted and rejected the City's contract offer. Although the League agreed to continue negotiations with the City, more recent contract talks have also failed as the bargaining has become regressive.
"On Monday (September 8), the City offered a counter proposal that sent a clear message - they have no intention of coming to any compromise that our members would see as remotely fair or equitable," said LAPPL President Tyler Izen. "Their most recent offer is not only insulting, it's regressive in nature. It's actually financially worse than the proposal our members turned down in July."
Izen said the League hopes that a neutral, third party, appointed by the City Employee Relations Board, will mediate the issues in dispute and/or preside over fact-finding to move the parties to a fair and equitable resolution for LAPD officers who protect and serve the residents of Los Angeles.
"We have already lost more than 120 officers to other agencies," Izen said. "Make no mistake, officer attrition will negatively affect public safety." He cited the City of San Jose where the government discounted the value of their officers in wages and benefits. That department has shrunk from 1,400 to 900 officers and crime has risen at a rate higher than the state and national averages, he said.
Izen noted that over the past five years, the hard-working men and women of the LAPD have sacrificed to help the City balance its budget during tough economic times, giving concessions totaling $127 million annually. He said the City's last offer continued to ignore the sacrifices and outstanding work and dedication of LAPD officers who have driven crime to record low levels.
"There is a deep-seated frustration and anger among the rank and file due to the already low pay compared to other agencies, inconsistent working conditions, a disciplinary system that is viewed as biased and unfair," Izen insisted. "That frustration has translated to the fact that the membership is no longer willing to continue the financial givebacks."
Izen said the LAPPL Board of Directors and the membership are committed to securing a contract that reflects the wages, benefits and working conditions officers deserve.
"The LAPPL would remain willing to work with the City to achieve a contract that's fair to LAPD officers and ensures the needs of the public will continue to be served. However, that commitment must be reciprocated. That is something is not being demonstrated by the City."