Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In Opposition

These types of contracts put the interests of the police officers - insulated by their union, a coercive government monopoly on labor with the city of Oakland - at add with the interests of those not hired or recently hired, and at odds with the citizenry, which needs more officers but at a lower life time cost. 

I was a police officer for three years, I know the risks, the lifestyle impact, and the ugliness that cops live with.  Good cops earn every penny they make.  But there is a limit to what a citizenry can pay a police officer - this union system forces a violation of that limit, and everyone in the city eventually pays for for the violation (soon we'll be hearing about the dangerously small number of officers on the street).  In the end, everyone will pay, the police officers too.
"Oakland police officers' compensation is generous along every dimension. As touted on the department's own recruiting website, cadets start out at a salary of $64,656 plus benefits. (For comparison, the NYPD pays police academy attendees a starting salary of $44,744). Once an OPD officer finishes training, he or she is entitled to a starting base salary, before overtime and benefits, ranging from $71,841 to $90,459. And the payscale continues upward from there.
Oakland police receive a generous health plan with the premium paid entirely by the city, for single or family coverage. For family coverage, this benefit was worth $15,859 as of 2009, compared to a California private sector mean of $9,159. The city also makes the entire pension contribution on behalf of police officers -- 9% of their salary and overtime pay.
The Oakland police recruiting website boasts that this is the most generous benefit package for police officers among California's ten largest cities. And indeed, Oakland police pay even makes San Francisco look fiscally responsible -- total compensation for SFPD employees averages just $145,000. If Oakland just matched San Francisco's compensation levels, it could stay within its proposed budget and hire additional officers, instead of cutting jobs."

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