The San Francisco Labor Council leadership support more funding for the police and the former Executive Director has DA's in his local. Rank and file members tried to get them out with a petition.
Our Union stands for fairness for all members, both on the job and as members of the community. We are calling for all Police officers and Deputy D.A.'s to exit our Union, Local 856 immediately. Police officers and Deputy D.A.'s interact with workers and their families on a daily basis. Police officers and Deputy D.A.'s need to form their own organization, away from Local 856, so that we can be sure that as members, we are not supporting misconduct and reinstatement of individuals who might have abused, injured or coerced workers, their family members or neighbors. Please sign the petition addressed to the Local 856 executive board, so that Local 856 will immediately remove Police officers and Deputy D. A.'s from our membership roles. https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/pol
TO: Executive Board, IBT Local 856
Police Officers and Deputy D.A.'s must exit our union immediately
VSContact Campaign Creator
Campaign created by
Remove Police officers and Deputy D.A.'s from Union, Local 856.
Why is this important?
Our Union stands for fairness for all members, both on the job and as members of the community. We are calling for all Police officers and Deputy D.A.'s to exit our Union, Local 856 immediately. Police officers and Deputy D.A.'s interact with workers and their families on a daily basis. Police officers and Deputy D.A.'s need to form their own organization, away from Local 856, so that we can be sure that as members, we are not supporting misconduct and reinstatement of individuals who might have abused, injured or coerced workers, their family members or neighbors. Please sign the petition addressed to the Local 856 executive board, so that Local 856 will immediately remove Police officers and Deputy D. A.'s from our membership roles.
SFLC ED Rudy Gonzalez Supports SF POA Contract with City of SF https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/11/11/18838417.php
Wednesday Nov 11th, 2020 9:39 PM
San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director Rudy Gonzalez supported the San Francisco Police Officer Association SFPOA
contract arguing that it was up to the Mayor and DPH. He then attacked people opposing the contract for pressuring the left Board of Supervisors to reject the contract.
How does the SF Labor Council propose to achieve that if not through contract concessions in exchange for pay hikes?
original image (960x640)
San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director
Rudy Gonzalez Supports SF Police Officers Association
Contract with City and County Of San Francisco
Nov 9, 2020, at 3:20 PM, John Crew wrote:
The bad news is that the three members of the Board's GAO Committee declined to reject the proposed SFPOA contract notwithstanding the overwhelming public demand that they do so expressed in a 4.5 hour hearing Thursday.
The good news is that, while they forwarded seven other labor contracts to the full Board with their recommendation that they all be approved, they withheld their recommendation for the proposed SFPOA contract -- and only the SFPOA contract. The full Board will approve or reject the deal on November 16th without a recommendation either way from the Committee. The battle continues. Please ask members of the Board to reject this deal.
Here's the coverage -- https://48hills.org/.../supes-panel-declines-to-reject.../ https://www.sfexaminer.com/.../supes-blame-mayor-for.../
In hours of public testimony (thanks to Defund SFPD Now organizing), I counted only two speakers (out of dozens) who did not support rejecting the SFPOA deal.
One of them was Rudy Gonzalez of the San Francisco Labor Council who -- while professing the Council's belief in "policy concessions" and that "leverage should be used" and stating that he does not "trust DHR" -- nonetheless argued that the Board rejecting a bad deal with the SFPOA "gives a complete pass to the executive branch of the City government" (including the Mayor, her DHR, Chief Scott and the Police Commission). I didn't understand his argument. (His two minutes of testimony starts at the 3:30:35 mark -- https://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php
If the SF Labor Council believes, as Mr. Gonzalez testified, the Mayor, chief and Police Commission should be doing more to push a real reform agenda, then removing or reducing the barriers to that agenda that have been caused by the DHR and SFPOA engaging in legally unnecessary, prolonged, secret talks about topics not covered by state labor law is obviously needed. How does the SF Labor Council propose to achieve that if not through contract concessions in exchange for pay hikes?
As the Bar Association of San Francisco and others have painstakingly documented, the SFPOA (and the DHR Mr. Gonzalez does not trust) have repeatedly retreated behind closed doors to delay or water down implementation of nearly every reform that has been sought. And, that "let the SFPOA secretly negotiate and claim a right to arbitrate everything" approach by DHR will, if unchanged, surely undermine any defunding or reimagining public safety agenda as well.
After all, while San Franciscans just passed Prop E to allow for reductions in police staffing by a whopping 71% to 29% margin, DHR and SFPOA almost kept that off the ballot with their legally bogus stall tactics involving no fewer than four meet and confer sessions over full month as the ballot deadline approached and a threat to arbitrate. Meanwhile -- and unbeknownst to any of us (possibly including Board President Yee) -- the Mayor's DHR was simultaneously secretly negotiating this "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" deal with the SFPOA.
Mr. Gonzalez and some members of the Board seemed to think the Board lacks the power to do anything about this complete corruption of legitimate labor rights to thwart and endlessly stall police reform and SFPD transformation. They seem to somehow think that approving a very bad deal will be better than rejecting it -- and that locking in for two more years contract provisions that have facilitated this will somehow make things better. They're wrong.
For example, how did Austin end up with a better police contract a few years ago? By their City Council listening to community demands and voting to reject a bad deal... sending it back to the bargaining table... where the tone and content of the negotiations changed and a better deal with real reform concessions was struck. (https://www.nytimes.com/.../austin-police-union-contract
What has worked elsewhere -- what the US Conference of Mayors, Campaign Zero, the NAACP LDF and many others are now calling for everywhere -- can work here. I'm not sure why the SF Labor Council would think otherwise. What happened in San Francisco 2018 when the Board pushed back on the posture DHR was taking in SFPOA contract negotiations under Interim Mayor Mark Farrell after a public hearing by the GAO Committee? DHR added a reform concession as an "essential objective" in the City's final proposal -- a proposal that DHR's Carol Isen now claims was added "under duress" but that proves public pressure and resistance from the Board to a bad deal are the only things that create leverage to get a better deal if a mayor chooses to be overly indulgent of the SFPOA.
Lastly, it's outrageous that the Mayor and DHR would try to let the City's most reactionary, racist and obstructionist bargaining unit -- the SFPOA -- try to hide behind the very broad public support for other unions. By including a new parity or "me too" clause in the proposed deal, the Mayor and DHR would be enabling the SFPOA's on-going hostility and resistance to what we want from our police by granting them pay raises -- no matter what they do -- that will always be commensurate with percentage raises for other (much less-well compensated) city workers. Per his testimony, Mr. Gonzalez fears that if the Board rejects this proposed deal, the Mayor will lay off other city workers rather than finding the money in the $700 million FY 2020/21 budget allocation for the SFPD -- only about 1% of which would be needed to fill the relatively tiny short-term budget hole created by rejection of the SFPOA deal. That fear is based on a rumor that the Mayor's Office has not publicly confirmed but, if she would really punish other city workers for the SFPOA's intransigence and resistance to reform... the outcry would be overwhelming. To enable that sort of extreme mayoral threat is to guarantee it will be repeated in the future and would completely doom the prospects for police reform and SFPD transformation -- because any Mayor who would do that has clearly fully aligned herself with the SFPOA's anti-reform agenda and drastically lowered the priority of serious changes in SFPD.
The Board approving a bad SFPOA deal cannot make things better. It can only make it worse.
On Thu, Nov 5, 2020 at 8:54 AM John Crew wrote:
The Board's GAO Committee is apparently going to take public comment today on the proposed SFPOA deal even though it's scheduled (inexplicably) only as a closed session item. (See Item #13 of the agenda -- https://sfbos.org/sites/default/files/gao110520_agenda.pdf
.) Phone-in comments are strongly encouraged. Meeting starts at 10.
If the Committee approves the deal or (perhaps, more likely) forwards it to the full Board for action without a recommendation, we're going to need phone calls and emails to individual supervisors asking them to reject it before there's a final up or down vote probably within a couple of weeks.
Here's the advance news coverage -- https://missionlocal.org/.../will-san-francisco-have-the.../ https://www.sfexaminer.com/.../supes-to-debate-police.../
And a very timely op ed from the good folks at DefundSFPDNow -- https://www.sfexaminer.com/.../proposed-changes-to-the.../
There's a lot of history, background and complex detail behind this struggle. I've previously shared some of it through this list serv. For those interested in more of that, I'll paste below my two submissions to the GAO Committee this week. But it all comes down to this --
Should the Board of Supervisors approve a secretly-negotiated deal with the SFPOA that trades a deferral (not a waiver) of pay raises due soon (2%) and eight months from now (1%) in exchange for:
Two additional 3% pay raises (that will cost the City a lot more money in the long run);
A continuation of status quo non-economic, anti-reform, anti-transparency contractual terms that will legally guarantee the SFPOA can keep delaying and undermining reform and defunding efforts at least until July 2023;
A new "parity" clause that guarantees even more raises for the SFPOA -- no matter what they do or say to undermine accountability and reform -- if other public employee unions get raises larger than theirs; and,
Alignment of their next contract talks with the next mayoral election which will maximize the SFPOA's leverage. (This is what the SFPOA has always wanted. This is what they had for many years until the City eventually realized that timing benefited only them and their favored mayoral candidate rather than the City. Now, Mayor Breed and DHR propose to give this leverage back to them.)
It's a comically bad deal for the public and, yet, tragically -- because the Mayor and DHR are (outrageously) trying to hold the raises for other unions hostage in order to get the SFPOA giveaway approved -- the Board may well approve it if enough of us do not rise up to stop it.
The SFPOA does not have power and influence in this town because of any legal requirement. They have power and influence behind closed doors only because our elected and appointed officials give it to them.
***** My GAO Committee Submission #1, November 3rd -
Thank you again for the conversation yesterday about the GAO Committee's consideration of the proposed SFPOA MOU on Thursday. I appreciate that you intend to hold at least some of the discussion in public, possibly ask questions of City representatives in public and accept public testimony but I remain very concerned that there has been no formal notice provided to the broader public and press about your intention.
I also have deep substantive concerns about the proposed deal, negotiated by DHR with the SFPOA entirely behind closed doors, with no public input or discussion -- (unlike in 2018 and contrary to various, current best practices recommendations for handling police union contracts) -- much less the active involvement of the Police Commission and the various stakeholders who have been engaged for years now in good faith efforts aimed at allegedly collaborative reform of the SFPD. I think DHR has struck a very bad proposed deal that, if approved, would facilitate and perpetuate the SFPOA's resistance to reform by awarding them two 3% annual pay raises costing the City more than $22 million by FY 2022-23 -- (even after accounting for the short-term deferral of raises due under their current contract) -- without addressing much-needed changes in the non-economic terms of the contract and instead locking those problematic provisions in place through mid-2023. I can detail those substantive concerns separately.
INADEQUATE NOTICE UNDER BROWN ACT & SUNSHINE ORDINANCE
For now, I think it's a bad idea to ignore the Brown Act and Sunshine Ordinance problems with how this item has been listed on the Committee's agenda. If the opportunity for public consideration of the proposed SFPOA contract has not been adequately noticed, any action the Committee takes with respect to the contract is vulnerable to legal challenge. Rather than possibly being forced to "do it over" later, the Committee should "do it right" now by making sure there is a full, clearly agendized, public consideration of the SFPOA contract just like your Committee will be doing with seven other proposed MOUs on its Thursday "regular agenda." There is no sound public policy reason for why the SFPOA proposed deal should be noticed only as a "closed session" item and there is certainly no legal necessity for proceeding on that basis.
Apparently, the SFPOA made its acceptance of the overall proposed contract contingent on the settlement of two relatively minor pay grievances that will cost the City $360,000 to settle. That may justify a closed session discussion on that narrow topic but it does not obviate the need for an adequately-noticed public consideration of what the City is getting in return (if anything) for locking in $22 million in pay increases for the SFPOA in FY 2022-23. Per the Controller's October 28th analysis, the combined new wage and benefit costs of all the MOUs in FY 2022-23 the Committee is poised to consider on Thursday is $36 million, almost two-thirds of which comes from the proposed deal with the SFPOA. It makes no sense for the Committee to openly consider the other seven MOUs while noticing only a closed session discussion of the most expensive (and controversial) one for the SFPOA.
The Brown Act requires a brief general description of the agenda topic and potential action to be considered. The San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance requires a "meaningful description" that is --
"... is sufficiently clear and specific to alert a person of average intelligence and education whose interests are affected by the item that he or she may have reason to attend the meeting or seek more information on the item. The description should be brief, concise and written in plain, easily understood English."
(Administrative Code Section 67.7(b).). Seeing the Committee's agenda clearly listing the other seven MOUs under the "Regular Agenda" with the SFPOA MOU listed separately and only as the sole item under the closed session part of the agenda at the end explicitly under the "Litigation" & "Conference with City Attorney" section, I assumed there would be no "regular" -- as in public -- consideration of the SFPOA deal. I think most people of average intelligence and education would make the same assumption. I went to law school and have decades of experience in how San Francisco bodies notice items on their meeting agendas and how nearly always closed session items are handled -- namely with little if any public discussion. If I made that assumption from the agenda, it's reasonable to assume others would as well. In the last 35 years, I can't think of a single occasion where a Board committee or the Police Commission held a full public discussion with public officials and public testimony on an item that had only been listed only on a closed session agenda and described as a legal settlement. Not once. So while I appreciate that you intend to hold that sort of public discussion Thursday, the fact remains that a Brown Act / Sunshine Ordinance flaw in how an item is listed on an agenda can't be cured through individual conversations and the flaw will leave any action you take vulnerable to later legal challenge.
GOOD GOVERNMENT AND COLLABORATIVE POLICE REFORM REQUIRE FULL TRANSPARENCY
Beyond the flaw in the notice, I'm surprised that anyone -- the City Attorney's Office, DHR, whomever -- would think it appropriate for the Board to approve the expensive and controversial proposed deal with the SFPOA without any public consideration of it on the regular agenda of a Board committee -- especially when all the less expensive, apparently non-controversial MOUs for the other public employee unions are being handled in the normal, public, "regular agenda" fashion. Is it even legal to try to minimize public discussion of the proposed SFPOA MOU by using the $360,000 grievance settlement to list the entire far more expensive and consequential deal solely on a closed session agenda? I don't know but it's certainly not good, fully transparent, governance.
In 2018, the GAO Committee held a well-attended, widely-publicized, clearly-noticed, full public hearing on the SFPOA contract negotiations. (See agenda Item #3, File #180164 - https://sfbos.org/sites/default/files/gao032118_agenda.pdf
.) The committee publicly-questioned DHR's Employee Relations Director, Carol Isen, at some length about the contract talks followed by extensive public testimony. In her concluding remarks, GAO Committee member and then-Supervisor London Breed said it was "extremely important" that the public's concerns be addressed in the contract with the SFPOA --
"We are definitely committed to the reforms and committed to making sure that we will embed in the contract specifically what we can as it relates to how we can make this work to address many of the concerns that have been addressed here today."
(Emphasis added. Supervisor Breed's full remarks start at approximately the 2:06 mark of the video of that hearing.)
In turn -- and in a clear demonstration of the underlying purpose and value of holding and properly noticing full public hearings -- the City subsequently proposed to the SFPOA a contract provision be incorporated into the deal in exchange for pay and benefit increases that was described by Ms. Isen of DHR in her part of the subsequent arbitration decision. In her words then --
"Speedy implementation of the Department of Justice's recommendations in an essential objective of the City.... The City's proposal... provides for an expedited meet and confer process without the delay caused by impasse arbitration."
(Arbitration award, pg. 23, emphasis added.)
Yet, in 2020, DHR has inexplicably secretly negotiated a deal with the SFPOA -- without any public input at all and no reform concessions from SFPOA -- which they first told SFPD Chief William Scott they would happily explain to the Police Commission only to reverse course a few weeks later and refuse to do so.. and which they now apparently want to be considered only as a closed session item on the GAO Committee's agenda. In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, Chief Scott joined 64 of his colleagues in the Major Cities Chiefs Association in a June 4th open letter that declared, in part, that "the balance of (police) labor and management is often out of calibration" and caling for a "review" of contracts with police unions. (https://www.majorcitieschiefs.com/.../mcca_open_letter
... .) But there's been no such public review at all in San Francisco and even Chief Scott was seemingly left out of the loop by DHR in the SFPOA negotiations telling the Police Commission, "DHR is in charge and that's about as much as I know.... Just like everyone else, the Department is waiting to hear the results." (Meeting of August 19th.) "The Department was not involved in those negotiations.... I wasn't involved in it and neither was anybody else from the Department... I wasn't part of those conversations." (Meeting of September 16th.)
Meanwhile, the proposed deal with the SFPOA has remained shrouded in confounding secrecy while other cities are already dealing with police union contracts far more openly and full transparency has emerged as a consensus best practice recommendation from everyone from the US Conference of Mayors to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund to the more activist-oriented Campaign Zero whose proposals SFPD has previously used as an appropriate benchmark for their own reform efforts. (See my prior correspondence on this subject for more details and links to underlying sources -- https://sfgov.org/.../SFPOA%20Contract%2C%20Meet%20%26
Even police union lawyers now recognize the need for maximum transparency rather than back-room dealmaking and secrecy when it comes to negotiating and approving police union contracts given intense public demands for fundamental change in American policing. Ronald Yank is a prominent long-time, Bay Area police union attorney who joined with retired judges like Thelton Henderson and Joe Grodin as well as law professors and labor arbitrators to recently propose that:
"(B)efore a public entity commences negotiation with a law enforcement union, that entity must conduct a public hearing on its bargaining proposals with sufficient notice and opportunity for public comment. After a collective bargaining agreement or memorandum of understanding with the law enforcement union is negotiated, the public entity must conduct a public hearing, with sufficient notice and opportunity for public comment, before the agreement is ratified.
These reforms will enable the public to know the possible or likely terms of a collective bargaining agreement before such an agreement is negotiated or signed. This information will aid the public in holding elected and appointed officials accountable for the police contracts they negotiate. It will also provide the public with the opportunity to ensure that the contracts serve the public interest."
, emphasis added.)
POSTPONE -- BAD PROCESS ENABLES A BAD DEAL
As it stands... and thanks to the inexplicable reversal in how DHR has handled the contract negotiations with the SFPOA this year compared with how they were handled in 2018... San Francisco is poised to do the exact opposite. The GAO Committee is being asked to consider and approve -- under a closed session agenda item -- a deal that DHR has thus far refused to explain publicly, based on negotiating demands that appear to be completely disconnected from the police reform agenda the City claims to be pursuing, and that is the very epitome of the sort back-room deal-making that undermines public confidence.
Under these circumstances, I believe the consideration of the proposed SFPOA contract should be postponed to a future GAO Committee meeting where it should appear -- like it did in 2018 -- on the public, regular agenda. I think that is both legally prudent and a practical necessity to ensure adequate review of the proposed deal that has inexplicably abandoned the City's prior "essential objective" of speeding up the reform process with changes in the non-economic terms of its contract with the SFPOA and consideration of the public's more fully-informed views about it.
As other cities have already learned, effective police reform and a re-imagining of public safety services are simply not possible if San Francisco again saddles itself with a bad and inadequately examined contract with its police union. A bad deal doesn't become better with less openness. Full transparency -- of the type that comes only from a timely, clearly-noticed, full public hearing -- is the only thing that can rescue the credibility of ostensibly "collaborative" police reform in San Francisco and save us from two more years of the reform process being unnecessarily held hostage by the SFPOA under the terms of a contract that very much benefits them but not the public.
cc. Members, GAO Committee and Board of Supervisors
Members, San Francisco Police Commission
David Rizk, Bar Association of San Francisco
***** My GAO Committee Submission #2, November 4th --
Thank you for calling for a hearing on the City's meet and confer practices with respect to the SFPOA during yesterday's full meeting of the Board of Supervisors. For that hearing to be productive, it must be held before the GAO Committee holds a full public hearing on the SFPOA contract and the full Board votes on the proposed deal.
BEEN THERE, TRIED THAT -- DIDN'T WORK
You were not on the Board at the time so perhaps you've not been informed by DHR or by the Mayor's Office but the hearing you described in your remarks yesterday, in fact, is the same sort of hearing the GAO Committee already held in conjunction with the 2018 contract talks with the SFPOA that I mentioned in my correspondence yesterday. GAO Committee member London Breed and her colleagues heard testimony from DHR, from the City Attorney's Office, the Chief of Police and from the public about the DHR's meet and confer practices with SFPOA in a hearing that featured particularly aggressive and pointed questioning on that topic from then-Supervisor and current Police Commissioner Malia Cohen. ( That hearing can be viewed here -- https://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php
In fact, it was that hearing that led the City to demand that, in exchange for pay raises, the SFPOA contractually waive any right to impasse arbitration on USDOJ COPS reform topics. DHR later described this as an "essential objective" of the City for the SFPOA contract. Why? Because it's partly the threat of arbitration -- and the threat of SFPOA grievances or litigation over whether something is a mandatory subject of bargaining under state law (triggering their arbitration rights under the contract and the charter) -- that causes DHR to needlessly engage in, or needlessly extend, meet and confer talks on important reform topics. The waiver in the contract, fairly bargained in exchange for pay raises, would go a long way towards solving that problem.
If the GAO Committee and Board needlessly approves the proposed new "no reform" SFPOA deal guaranteeing two more 3% pay raises (which will cost far more in the long run than the short-term cost savings from the deferral of the 1% and 2% pay raises currently due in FY 2020/21) without addressing the meet and confer problem, it will be forfeiting all the leverage it has by rewarding the SFPOA's continued resistance to reform with new, fully-unconditional (in the non-economic, reform sense) pay raises. It will be literally guaranteeing -- contractually -- that the extreme meet and confer delays very thoroughly documented by the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) will continue for at least an additional two years. ( https://sfgov.org/.../Oct%2022%20BASF%20ltr%20re%20SFPOA
DHR knows that. The members of the 2018 GAO Committee, including Supervisor Breed, and the full Board knew that after that hearing. The public knew that too. We explained the problem and laid out the solution in an op ed published in advance of the hearing. (https://www.sfchronicle.com/.../No-pay-raise-for-SFPD
... ) In the wake of that hearing, a broad-based community and legal coalition organized under the banner of #NoJusticeNoDeal demanded that the City include this much-needed contract provision in what they were seeking from the SFPOA in exchange for pay raises. (https://drive.google.com/.../1RsH.../view
... .) A petition supporting the demand quickly garnered more than 1,000 signatures. (https://campaigns.organizefor.org/peti.../nojusticenodeal
... ). And, within two weeks, the City embraced the proposal and put it on the bargaining table in their talks with the SFPOA. (https://www.sfexaminer.com/.../sf-seeks-to-expedite.../
ABANDONING POLICE REFORM AS A GOAL
Yet, Mayor Breed in 2020 has reversed the position she took as Supervisor Breed in 2018 and this time, her DHR -- (unlike Interim Mayor Mark Farrell's DHR) -- apparently didn't even ask for this or any other reform-related concession in exchange for costly future pay raises guaranteed in the midst of the extreme fiscal crisis caused by the pandemic. Why is the City offering a "something for nothing" deal to the SFPOA while simultaneously claiming to want to quicken the pace on SFPD reform? Why would the Board approve this clunker of a deal without far more public scrutiny and appropriate skepticism? And, why would the Board hold another hearing on the meet and confer problem only after needlessly agreeing to a deal that -- according to the City's own prior positions -- would deeply compromise the ability to effectively address it?
Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of the Board's oversight hearings and the enactment of non-binding resolutions calling for various actions. But when those steps have already been tried and failed previously to produce necessary changes -- and the Board has a golden opportunity (like it has here with the SFPOA contract) to actually solve a problem that has already been thoroughly documented and explored in prior hearings -- it must act. Failing to do so is tantamount to declaring the problem just not important enough to solve.
In 2018 -- in a very different fiscal environment -- the SFPOA turned down the City's contractual demand for the USDOJ COPS meet and confer / impasse arbitration waiver and took their shot at winning three 4% pay raises from an independent arbitrator. The City countered by offering three 3% pay raises tied to the reform proposal. The arbitrator ended up splitting the difference declining to impose the reform proposal but awarding only the lower pay raise.
Among other things, the arbitrator cited the "impassioned and persuasive testimony" from the members of the #NoJusticeNoDeal Coalition at the public arbitration hearing who'd argued that the value to the City of the police services being purchased under the contract would be considerably less if the SFPOA was not prevented from continuing to block and delay reforms. (Arbitration Award, In the Matter of an Interest Arbitration Between CCSF and SFPOA, page 19.)
In short, we are paying very top dollar for a modern, professional, reformed, as non-violent and anti-racist as possible police department. We're still not getting anything close to that with our now $700 million a year investment in SFPD (with most of that going to wages and benefits set by the SFPOA contract). We have a right to contractually insist -- if the SFPOA still wants more pay raises year after year after year -- that the union finally put an end to its obstruction of what the public overwhelmingly wants.
THE CITY HAS LEVERAGE -- WHY NOT USE IT?
That was the common sense argument then and it's the same damn argument now when the City (unfortunately) is in a much better bargaining position with respect to the SFPOA because of the fiscal crisis. They know that, should the Board send DHR back the bargaining table by withholding its approval of this deeply-flawed proposed deal -- negotiated without public or Police Commission input -- and the SFPOA continues to resist agreeing to now obviously necessary reform concessions, they will have a very difficult time convincing an arbitrator they must grant more pay raises to an already very well-compensated police force in the midst of the extreme fiscal uncertainty currently faced by San Francisco and other cities. The City has enormous leverage right now to finally limit the SFPOA's obstructionism and speed up the reform process. Why would it not at least try to use it?
Just three short months ago -- when the streets were still full of protestors outraged by government inaction in the face of very long-standing police violence and racism and while calls for massive defunding of the SFPD were still building -- all of the GAO Committee members and nine of eleven members of the full Board signed an op ed that stated plainly the problem that needs to be confronted locally:
"We declare that Black Lives Matter, and that justice must be done for the victims of police brutality and racism.
To transform policing in San Francisco, however, means recognizing the main obstacle, which is the San Francisco Police Officers Association."
The piece went on to detail the various ways the SFPOA has been blocking and delaying reforms including citing the meet and confer abuses detailed by BASF back in July (but that have nonetheless been inexplicably ignored in the "no reform" DHR-proposed deal for the SFPOA), and concluded with the simple exhortation that:
"(T)he POA must cease blocking reform measures."
With all due respect and with genuine appreciation for your and your colleague's public service in very difficult times, those words will become empty and meaningless if the secretly-negotiated SFPOA deal is rubber-stamped without an appropriately-noticed, full public hearing and the opportunity to explore and pursue the many ways the SFPOA contract could be amended to address the already-faltering SFPD reform process which, to date, the SFPOA has been able to frustrate... just like they did with prior allegedly comprehensive SFPD reform efforts that have been tried too often before.
If other cities facing just as sever