Welcome to the Pleasanton Police Officers Association’s (PPOA) contract negotiations page. Below you will find information regarding the ongoing state of Pleasanton PD staffing and the current impasse between the PPOA and the City of Pleasanton. This page was last updated on 07/27/2023.
PPOA Member, Christopher Kuhr, attending Pleasanton Farmers Market, 06/10/2023.
The Pleasanton POA is made up of 75 positions which includes officers and sergeants. When fully staffed, the police department should fill patrol shifts and all specialty units. However, staffing has been continually deteriorating in Pleasanton PD for several years. There are currently only 58 active officers and sergeants fulfilling the work of the 75 positions. There are currently 6 vacant positions with several additional vacancies anticipated in the coming months. Between expected vacancies due to medical retirement as well as officers who are due to retire in the coming years, the department is forecasted to need 25 new officers by 2025.
217 shifts operated below minimum staffing in 2022.
The City of Pleasanton has had no Special Enforcement Unit since January, 2022.
The City of Pleasanton has been without a Traffic Enforcement Unit since December, 2022.
Pleasanton Traffic Enforcement Unit is made of five officers and one sergeant. Their duties include traffic enforcement, collision investigations, and community engagement such as the Every Fifteen Minutes program. In 2022, traffic officers were frequently reassigned to patrol to fill staffing needs and in December of 2022 the unit was disbanded until staffing levels return to appropriate levels.
The recently released Pleasanton PD annual report noted that the number of citations for 2022 stood at 2,217, while the average for 2019 to 2021 stood at 5,105*. This decrease by over 50% demonstrates the effect of a lack of enforcement and is a direct result of the traffic officers being unable to provide focused traffic enforcement. These statistics have also coincided with an increase in reckless driving and collisions.
The City of Pleasanton has been without a Crime Prevention Officer since April, 2023.
Pleasanton PD has been forced to take drastic measures to ensure staffing on patrol which has included an emergency schedule and mandated overtime.
Pleasanton PD operated under an emergency schedule from May until August of 2022. An emergency staffing schedule required longer shifts for many of the PPOA members in an effort to create more overlap between shifts. It also canceled monthly department training and reduced opportunities for officers to seek additional training from outside agencies. Training is a critical component for every officer as a well trained officer is more likely to make better decisions in stressful situations.
Additionally, in December of 2021, Pleasanton PD placed an emergency mandate list into effect which may force an officer to work on a regularly scheduled day off. If mandated when the officer has a trip planned with their family or an important event, they must work the mandated shift or attempt to find a replacement which is often difficult, especially on short notice. This has resulted in officers having to cancel family trips on short notice, incurring the cost and missing out on valuable family time. In 2022, officers were mandated to work for at least 150 shifts.
Based on Pleasanton PD’s compensation package there have been low numbers of lateral applications. When Pleasanton POA was compensated in the upper half of our comparable cities, Pleasanton PD received hundreds of lateral applications. In 2022, Pleasanton PD received 19 lateral applicants. In the first six months of 2023, Pleasanton PD received only 3 lateral applications. As we have a need to hire approximately 25 officers in the next two years, this is not a sustainable number of applicants to achieve these hiring projections.
As a result of reduced applicants, the city has chosen to widen the net of potential applicants by lowering hiring standards.
When applying to be a police officer as a recruit, one of the state-mandated tests is known as the PELLET B. This test gauges an applicant’s reading, writing, and comprehension and can be indicative of an officer’s ability to pass academy training. The PELLET B is graded on a T-Score with an average score being 50. The state minimum requirement for attending an academy is 42.
Historically, Pleasanton PD has held a required PELLET B T-score of 50 or above in order to apply or be hired with the department. Recently, due to the lack of applicants, the City of Pleasanton has lowered the standard to the state minimum of 42. All of Pleasanton’s comparable agencies have a T-score of 46 or above.The PPOA has requested the T-score requirement to be 48 or above as we understand the importance of attracting premier candidates.
The City of Pleasanton and the PPOA maintain a contract, known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which covers topics including salary, incentives, vacation accrual, sick time accrual, retirement benefits, and more. Law enforcement is a particularly competitive market, with a low supply of capable officers in the bay area.
Comparable cities have been agreed upon by the City of Pleasanton and the Pleasanton Police Officers’ Association to establish a baseline in pay and benefits. Pleasanton’s comparable cities include Milpitas, Fremont, Concord, San Leandro, Hayward, Livermore, Antioch, Union City, and Walnut Creek.
Impasse occurs when negotiations reach a point where both parties are deadlocked. When the previous contract expires, the PPOA is without a current MOU. During this time, officers and sergeants continue to be paid under the terms of the previous MOU but are not provided any additional pay raises or incentives. As the PPOA falls further behind comparable agencies in pay and compensation it becomes more difficult to attract and hire premier candidates.
At any point during impasse a contract can be offered by the city and voted on by the PPOA membership.
NOTE: The current climate of law enforcement has made retaining and recruiting officers a difficulty for most departments. Recognizing these difficulties, many other city councils, city managers, and department heads have worked with their POA’s to amend active contracts with offers of additional raises in pay and/or benefits using side letters.
Hourly Base Pay
#1 comparable agency
#3 comparable agency
The PPOA understands the need for the City of Pleasanton to be fiscally responsible and has previously assisted the city in the face of financial uncertainty. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, the PPOA agreed to accept a 0% base pay raise. This is part of the reason that we have fallen to the bottom of the pay scale.
Throughout negotiations, representatives of the PPOA met with city representatives. The PPOA described the current department staffing issues and the subsequent need for a competitive contract in order to retain current officers and attract quality officers to Pleasanton.
On May 19th, 2023, the city presented a contract proposal which was described by city negotiators as the “best and final offer” and requested the PPOA conduct a vote on the presented offer. It was made clear to the PPOA negotiations team that the city was unwilling to negotiate any further. The PPOA negotiations team presented the offer to membership for a vote which was unanimously voted down as members recognized it would keep us behind the market median.
Pleasanton POA is currently 19% behind the leader, 13.5% behind agency number 3, and 9% behind the average in base pay. It's important to note that one comparable agency will receive an additional 4% raise in September. Another agency (in the top 3) is entering negotiations before the year's end. Both of these events will raise the average base pay rate. Even with the city’s offer, we would still fall significantly short of the average and even further behind the top three comparable agencies.
Based on the above noted staffing crisis, members of the PPOA unanimously voted to refuse the city’s offer. While each PPOA member voted individually and unanimously, several of the reasons have been made known since.
The offered raises to base pay would not bring Pleasanton Police Department rank and file staff up to a median pay compared to the agreed upon comparable cities which jeopardizes the safety of the city. A low compensation package makes it difficult to recruit quality candidates and there is a need to hire approximately 25 officers by 2025.
Additionally, given the current cost of living in the area, it is imperative that the City of Pleasanton acknowledge the need for a wage increase to recruit local officers and lower the commute times. Of the employees who make up the PPOA membership, only 8 currently live in Pleasanton and many commute from cities as far away as Fairfield, Sacramento, Oakdale, and Turlock. These commutes further lower the standard of life for these officers, taking away precious time from families and extending already long work days. The PPOA recognizes that officers who commute at such long distances could easily lateral to departments closer to where they live if Pleasanton’s MOU does not provide adequate reason to stay in Pleasanton.
Following the PPOA vote, on May 24, 2023 the PPOA released a statement refusing the city’s offer and declaring impasse.
PPOA President, Brian Jewell, addresses the Pleasanton City Council during open comments on 06/20/2023.
Attend the next city council meeting and appeal to the city council to settle a fair contract.
Speakers may attend via zoom or in person. See the City of Pleasanton’s meeting agenda website for details on signing up as a speaker.
Rebecca Rodriguez, addresses the Pleasanton City Council during open comments on 06/20/2023.