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No police, firefighter layoffs
Officers give up 33% in salary for $6M over 4 years
Signing a new four-year contract are, from left, Manteca Police officers Bryan Holland, Mike Keener, and police association President Stephen Schluer. Looking on are Human Resources Manager Mae Hamm and Administrative Services Director Joe Kriskovich. - photo by DENNIS WYATT

There will be no layoffs of Manteca firefighters after all.

The Manteca Firefighters Association made compensation concessions including increasing their contribution to the Public Employment Retirement System (PERS) by 14 percent to 23 percent. That - coupled with agreeing to leave three positions vacant when three firefighters retire-will save the jobs of six firefighters. They were scheduled to be laid off Friday.

The biggest salary and benefit concession came from the Manteca Police Officers Association (MPOA) to avoid layoffs of sworn officers.

Police officers were paying little or none of their salary into PERS. Starting Friday they will pay 18 percent of their gross monthly pay into PERS. It represents a net savings of more than $6 million over the four-year contract. It reflects a net loss of 33 percent in salary and 21 percent in total compensation.

“We got a good contract in good financial times and we’re getting the best contract we can now,” said MPOA President Stephen Schluer. “The MPOA is pleased to be able to help the City of Manteca at this critical time.”

Schuler added that the MPOA understood everyone is being hit hard by the economy.

Police Chief Dave Bricker praised the MPOA for stepping up.

“This is the first time in 3½ years as police chief I’m confident that we won’t need to lay off any sworn officers,” Bricker said.

Negotiations are still continuing with other bargaining units with at least nine possible layoffs still on the table. By Tuesday’s council meeting, the city expects to have eliminated a $4.2 million shortfall in the 2011-12 fiscal year budget.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton said negotiations are designed to address the structured deficit created by shortfalls in pension contributions. The city’s goal is to eliminate the structured deficit in the current negotiations.