Public safety employees in Seaside saw a 5% cost of living as of July 1, as the City Council approved the Public Safety Association’s collective bargaining agreement on Monday, Aug. 12. The contract began July 1 and extends to June 30, 2023, City Manager Mark Winstanley and Assistant City Manager Jon Rahl said in a staff report.
Public Safety Association employees will see a 5% cost of living increase immediately, with increases between 2% and 4% in subsequent years of the contract.
Along with increased compensation, the contract moves all association positions to a six-step scale.
For fire personnel attaining certifications, they will be eligible to receive pay incentives of up to 2%, 3% or 4% in each field.
Police employees who are selected for assignment to the two-year rotating detective position and student resource official will receive a premium of 10% in addition to the employee’s regular pay rate.
A retention incentive of 1% will be added to the monthly salary for those with 15 years of service.
Health and welfare also changed as Seaside employees move from a high-deductible health plan with a health savings account to a co-pay plan similar to that of the Seaside Employees’ Association. Monthly premiums will increase from anywhere to $31 to $87 per month, or $372 to $1,044 annually.
This was the first time the negotiations encompassed both fire and police personnel.
“Negotiations on union contracts can take quite a while,” Winstanley said at the meeting. “There’s a lot of detail that everybody needs to go over when new contracts are negotiated. This contract only took three or four months to put together. I know that sounds like a long time for members of the audience, but that’s pretty quick.”
Winstanley attributed the quick action to the efforts of Police Chief Dave Ham and Fire Chief Joey Daniels.
For Rahl, this was his first union contract negotiation, and “he did a very good job throughout this,” Winstanley said.
Rahl agreed that the team negotiating for the public safety association was “really good to work with, a good rapport, a good process.”
“I think they’re well worth it,” city councilor Steve Wright said. “We’ve said that many times over the years. Go for it. I’d like to make a motion to approve this bargaining agreement.”
Councilors Wright, Tom Horning, Randy Frank, Tita Montero, Seth Morrisey and Mayor Jay Barber unanimously approved the agreement.