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Urge police to 'give back'
The Oakland Police Officers Association is sending robo calls to urge that no police officers be laid off. They are the only union that has refused to make concessions by paying into their pension fund. They are among the highest paid workers in Oakland, making between $100,000 and $200,000 a year and don't even live in Oakland and contribute to our economy.
Oakland taxpayers spend $.75 of every City tax dollar on police and fire. That’s three times (in percentages) what America spends on the US military budget ($.255 of every US tax dollar). In both cases, the result is a shortfall in tax dollars available for education, human services, and infrastructure.
According to the Oakland Police Department's website, the lowest starting pay is $71,841. In New York City the lowest starting pay is $46,228 - and it has a 59.4% higher cost of living than Oakland.
With Police and Fire Departments consuming almost the entire budget, major City maintenance has been deferred indefinitely. And sacrificing essential human services will only contribute to a rise in crime, driving the need for even greater expenditures for pubic safety.
The question is: why won’t the Oakland Police Association (OPOA) do what other city employee unions have done: give back. While other unions have decided that contributing to their pension fund is better than watching their fellow union workers lose their jobs, OPOA has held back. Instead of sacrificing a bit to help the community, they have decided to ratchet up fear and hysteria, proclaiming that the loss of officers will reverse the gains in public safety that have been made. There is no evidence that supports this claim.
Should the City Council sacrifice the arts, libraries, museums, services for seniors and infrastructure repairs just to prevent police layoffs? Make your opinion known at 5:30 Thursday, at Oakland’s City Hall Council Chambers.