City of Long Beach, Police Officers Association (POA) Reach Tentative Labor Agreement

Long Beach, CA

The City of Long Beach has reached a tentative three-year agreement with the Police Officers Association (POA) to bring pay in line with other agencies competing for quality police officers. The agreement also sets a new cap for overtime hours and reforms health care costs that will provide long-term savings to the City.

Market analysis has determined that of the 10 comparable agencies, Long Beach consistently ranked at the bottom and more than 10 percent behind today’s median pay for a Police Officer.

“Public safety is the highest priority for the City of Long Beach, and in order to achieve our objectives we rely on a dedicated and well-trained police workforce,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This tentative agreement provides our Police Officers with modest wage and skill pay increases that will allow us to retain quality Officers and attract new recruits to our Police Department in a very competitive job market. I want to thank the POA leadership and the City negotiating team for their hard work to come to an agreement.”

The last increase in compensation for Long Beach Police Officers was 1 percent in 2014.  Prior to that, the POA had negotiated with the City to contribute 9 percent of salary as part of pension reform negotiations.

“I want to thank the Mayor, City Council, and City Management for demonstrating their commitment to public safety,” said Steve James, POA President. “The agreement was reached through a collaborative process, with the intention of making sure we maintain the high quality Police Department the citizens of Long Beach expect and deserve.”

The tentative agreement includes the following changes to address issues of recruitment and retention of Police Officers, as well as reducing the number of overtime hours a Police Officer can accrue and have employees pay more for health care costs:

  • Three-year contract term;
  • 3 percent general salary increase each year for a total of 9 percent increase over three years;
  • Increase in skill pays to help the City recruit a qualified and diverse Department and retain Police Officers;
  • Decrease in the maximum number of overtime hours Police Officers can bank;
  • Agreement to continue discussions regarding overtime assignments and modifying the police training program in order to increase the number of Police Officers in Patrol; and
  • Health care reform provisions that help stabilize health benefit costs and provide long-term savings for the City.

The POA membership voted overwhelmingly to ratify the tentative agreement during the last two weeks of January.  The agreement will now go before the City Council for public discussion and final approval on February 7, 2017.

The City of Long Beach and POA representatives held more than 13 meet and confer meetings since May 2016 prior to reaching agreement. The tentative agreement would be effective through September 30, 2019.

This agreement would have a total estimated annual net fiscal impact of $6.2 million in the General Fund in FY 17, and $14.3 million in the General Fund at the end of the three-year agreement.

The POA represents approximately 800 Long Beach Police Officers.