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Manteca Police best paid
Ranked 3rd among 9 cities in total compensation
Manteca Police receive more per month in base pay than their counterparts in Livermore, Modesto, Stockton, Tracy, Roseville, Folsom, Lodi, and Turlock. - photo by Bulletin file photo
Survey of police officer pay in eight cities based on a 10-year employee as of Jan. 1, 2010
Manteca    $7,615.00
Livermore    $7,210.00
Tracy    $6,705.24
Lodi    $6,437.00
Stockton    $6,405.88
Folsom    $6,396.00
Roseville    $6,360.32
Modesto    $5,833.00
Turlock    $5,510.00
*Source: Survey conducted by City of Manteca as required by the contract with the Manteca Police Officers Association

Managing editor of the
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Manteca’s front-line police officers are the highest paid among the nine cities included in the municipal salary survey.

A police officer in Manteca with 10 years experience is now making $7,615 a month. That is higher than Livermore where similar officers make $7,210 a month. It is $900 more a month than in Tracy where officers are paid $6,705.24 a month.

It is toughly $1,200 higher a month higher than Lodi ($6,437), Stockton ($6,405.58), and Folsom ($6,396).

The last three cities when it comes to monthly base pay for the surveyed cities are Roseville at $6,360.32, Modesto at $5,833, and Turlock at $5,510.

When total compensation is taken into account – longevity incentives, vacation, holiday benefit, deferred compensation (which Manteca does not receive), uniform allowance, sick leave, health plan, life insurance, and retirement – Manteca comes in second at $12,429.19 a month. Livermore is tops at $12,799.63 a month. Manteca is followed by Stockton at $12,320.78 a month. Rounding out the top five are Tracy at $11,491.41 a month followed by Lodi at $11,399.23.

Manteca is the only jurisdiction in the top five on the salary survey that requires an employee contribution to the Public Employment Retirement System. The $685.35 payment drops Manteca into third when it comes to net compensation after employee retirement payments are made at $11,743.84 a month behind Livermore at $12,799.63 and Stockton at $12,320.78.

The City of Manteca is required to conduct the survey as part of their agreement with the Manteca Police Officers Association.

All of the cities except Lodi are larger than Manteca in terms of population.

Manteca – along with Tracy – back about 10 years ago started noticing that the more affluent and fast growing cities west of the Altamont Pass were trying to snag experienced officers who could receive a significant bump in their last three years of working to enhance their retirement. Both cities made an effort to put their officers up higher in the salary survey comparison. Tracy did it by shrinking their force somewhat at the time and spreading the money among remaining officers while Manteca entered into a four-year contract that granted 4 percent annual raises.

Drop in property &
sales taxes triggered
city budget problems
City leaders – faced with a $14 million deficit triggered by a big drop-off in sales and property tax plus the state raiding local revenue to balance their own budget – went back to all employee groups and gave them a choice of either forgoing negotiated pay raises of 4 percent in 2010 and 2011 plus continuing furlough days and paying more toward their retirement or else having the equivalent dollar amount saved via layoffs within their group.

The city could not legally force groups to forgo the pay cuts or to pay more into retirement as they had a binding contract. They could, however, cut positions.

Against that backdrop, all of the employee groups except the police officers opted to give up pay raises as well as some existing compensation.

That resulted in 16 layoffs of front-line police officers although four were hired back almost immediately thanks to federal stimulus funds.

Retirements will take Manteca’s rank of sworn police officers down to 55 this year. It is a number that Police Chief Dave Bricker said he has obtained assurances from City Manager Steve Pinkerton that Manteca will not drop below.

That means if there are major cuts needed in 2011 due to property tax and sales tax losses not stabilizing, if cost recovery moves are not put in place soon enough, or if the state raids local coffers again other employee groups from the fire department to parks and streets will take the hit.

The MPOA equated the city’s request to a 14 percent pay cut based on the contract they inked with the city was supposed to guarantee them through the end of 2012. The four-year contract was made before the mortgage meltdown that worsened the economic slowdown and then drove down property tax and sales tax receipts which are the city’s two biggest sources of funding for the general fund that covers the cost of public safety and other functions such as streets and parks. Employee compensation accounts for close to 85 percent of the general fund’s expenditures.

As a last ditch effort in November, the city modified their proposal by offering not to touch uniform allowance and not increasing officers’ retirement contributions if the police would give up pay raises in 2010 and 2011. That would have allowed the city to hire back six of the 12 positions. The MPOA declined the suggestion.

The November offer also offered to retain the current cities for the next survey to determine salaries of police officers in 2012. Manteca leaders have made it clear that they want to concentrate the next salary comparisons on Northern San Joaquin Valley cities and not those in the Bay Area or the Sacramento region.

Other employee groups
agreed to reduce their
pay Jan. 1, 2010
The police did join other employee groups in giving up 3 percent of their pay last fiscal year in the form of non-paid furloughs. Furloughs for police will end this year but continue for other employees.

Starting Jan. 1, most Manteca municipal employees gave up a 4 percent pay increase as well as started paying more out-of-pocket for retirement.

The side letter agreements to the original employee contracts inked three years ago means the city may only have to worry about $1 million in additional cuts for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2010 if property tax and sales tax receipts do not erode farther plus if all cost recovery proposals are in place. The city, though, could yet be broadsided by the state taking even more local revenue to balance the California budget.

All of the groups that agreed to the side letters lost a pre-negotiated 4 percent pay increase on Jan. 1, 2010 and another 4 percent on Jan. 1, 2011.

The employee units and the other concessions they made include:

•The Manteca Professional Firefighters Association took an additional 2 percent payment to the Public Employees Retirement System. No firefighters will be laid off through June 30, 2010. A meeting will be scheduled in May or June 2010 to assess the budget situation and evaluate whether continuing or additional budgetary reductions are necessary. Firefighters earlier agreed to release the city from mandatory staffing levels on fire engines that essentially meant firefighters gave up an average of $12,000 a year in guaranteed overtime.

•The Manteca Police Employees Association is forfeiting 1 percent deferred compensation, paying 4 percent more into PERS, and skipping $700 annual uniform allowances for the next two years. No MPEA members will be laid off through June 30, 2010. Everything in good faith will be done to prevent layoffs in July 2011.

•One group of employees represented by the Carpenters Local Union No. 25/Technical and Support Services gave up 3 percent annual deferred compensation plus are paying an additional 3 percent toward their retirement. Furlough days equivalent to 80 hours will be taken out of employee paychecks in equal amounts starting July 1, 2010 and ending June 30,2011 for the equivalent of 3.3 hours per pay period. No members will be laid off through June 30, 2011 and none will be laid off from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 unless a structural deficit exists in the general fund.

•A second group of employees represented by the Carpenters Local Union No. 25 is paying 6 percent more toward retirement and gave up a floating holiday. Furlough dates and schedules for fiscal year 2010-11 will be evaluated in the first quarter of 2010. Furloughs equal to 72 hours can be paid General Services Unit members by utilizing compensatory time off, vacation or by taking furlough days without pay. No members will be laid off through June 30, 2011 and none will be laid off from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 unless a structural deficit exists in the general fund

•Mid-management employees forfeited their 1.5 percent deferred compensation will make an additional 4.25 percent payment to PERS, and will forfeit a floating holiday. Furloughs equal to 72 hours can be paid mid-management by utilizing administrative leave or  vacation or by taking furlough days without pay.

•The executive management team will forfeit 5 percent deferred compensation, make a 2 percent additional payment to retirement, and give up a floating holiday. Furloughs equal to 72 hours can be paid executive management by utilizing administrative leave or  vacation or by taking furlough days without pay.

The options proposed to the various employee groups by the city were designed so they all had proportional financial hits.

Just like the police, every employee group will be working with less people as the city has shed over 40 positions through early retirements or nor replacing people when they left.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail