Facts

  • What is Collective Bargaining:
     

    • Negotiations between employers and a group of employees to determine conditions of employment, such as wages, working hours, overtime, holidays, sick leave, vacation time, fringe benefits, training, and working conditions. Employee/employer negotiations result in a written agreement also known as a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that lasts a set time period. 
       

    • In San Antonio, voters approved collective bargaining for firefighters and police officers in 1974 and the collective bargaining agreements are approved by City Council. 
       

    • The City of San Antonio negotiated its first Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Police and Fire Unions in 1975/1976.
       

  • The current contract provides police officers and firefighters a rich benefits package that includes no monthly healthcare premiums for themselves or their families; a taxpayer-funded legal fund that they can use to pay for divorces, child custody disputes, DUI defenses and other personal legal expenses.
     

  • More than 400 of the 500 highest-compensated employees are uniformed public safety personnel.
     

  • According to the recent 2014 community-wide survey of over 1,000 City of San Antonio residents across all 10 City Council Districts, 70 percent support public safety personnel contributing to the cost of their healthcare benefits like other City employees and most other people.
     

  • On September 30, both the police and fire contracts expired. Absent a new agreement, the labor union contracts remain in force until September 30, 2024.
     

  • City Council cut $14.2 million from the 2015 fiscal year budget to make room for increased public safety healthcare costs, reducing City services that residents expect like street maintenance and other essential services.
     

  • The City has asked for a legal determination from the court on whether the contracts can constitutionally remain in effect for another decade.
     

  • The City believes an evergreen clause is unconstitutional.
     

  • The City is hopeful that negotiations with the police union will continue until a fair contract is reached. 
     

  • The City has asked the Fire Union to begin collective bargaining negotiations eight times. The fire union has refused to start negotiations with the City.