City agrees to police union negotiation meetings
SAPOA will not resume talks until city drops lawsuit
SAN ANTONIO – The city of San Antonio on Wednesday agreed to resume collective bargaining negotiations with the San Antonio Police Officers Association.
The meetings, which were proposed by the police union, are scheduled for the following dates:
- Jan. 28
- Jan. 29
- Feb. 4
- Feb. 5
- Feb. 11
- Feb. 12
The meetings would be the first time that the two sides have met since SAPOA walked away from the bargaining table in September after months of contentious negotiations.
The city followed by filing lawsuits against the police and fire unions in hopes of having the 10-year evergreen clauses in the collective bargaining agreements declared unconstitutional. A district judge denied the motions.
In advance of a Texas appellate deadline this weekend, the city filed a notice of appeal of the district court’s summary judgment order. However, no briefs will be filed for 60 to 90 days, and oral arguments would not be heard for approximately six months.
“There is plenty of time for parties negotiating in good faith to reach an agreement,” Mayor Ivy Taylor said. “When we agree to the terms of the contract, the lawsuit goes away. Until then, we will preserve the city’s legal options and take whatever actions are necessary to protect our taxpayers.”
But SAPOA president Michael Helle told KSAT 12 News that unless the city drops the lawsuit, the union will not resume talks.
“We offered negotiation dates in good faith as long as the lawsuit was removed and any threat of legal action was stopped," he said. "We could not have been any more clear to the mayor and her attorneys. The mayor has chosen to continue the appeals process and we will not meet with the city negotiators under the threat of any litigation. These are the types of games the city leadership continues to play. They knew our offer was contingent upon removal of the lawsuit. They chose to ignore that part of our offer and are misleading the public. The bottom line is simple: Mayor Ivy Taylor and City Manager Sheryl Sculley filed their appeal to continue suing police officers and their families. We will not negotiate while any appeal or threat of legal action remains.”
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