Police union head will not open cops' contract, leaves decision to his board 

Police Officers Association President Gary Delagnes told rank-and-file police officers Wednesday in an email that he won’t back down on a pledge he made during his re-election campaign to keep the union contract intact.

But that doesn’t mean it won’t be opened up to give back raises anyway.

The Mayor’s Office has been in negotiations with police and fire to give up or defer raises due to take effect this summer. Those negotiations kicked into full gear last week after a closed meeting at the Mayor’s Office and talk between police Chief Greg Suhr and union board members.

“He mentioned that he did not anticipate layoffs but that could change if the membership was unwilling to reopen the contract and make further economic concessions,” Delagnes reports Suhr as saying. “Chief Suhr stated that he has been mandated to cut an additional $10 million from the police budget which is a number that almost directly coincides with the anticipated 3% raise that we are due to receive on July 1st, 2011.”

After the talk with Suhr, union board members started discussing whether the union should open up its contract for givebacks for the third year in a row. Delagnes said he won’t be the one to do it, but he left it open for the board members to make that decision.

"I will NOT bring a motion forward to ask the members to re-open the contract," Delagnes wrote. "If the board feels it is the appropriate action to assist the city and Chief Suhr they can make that motion."

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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Brent Begin

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