Expired police and fire union contracts result in necessary budget amendments

CITY OF SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 18, 2014)—City Council amended the budget today by cutting $14.2 million to fund increased costs for police and fire healthcare benefits. The adjustments to the General Fund budget include deferring nearly $9 million in street projects to 2016; maintaining 35 additional vacant positions in the police department for a total of 75 vacant positions; and delaying the hiring of paramedics in 2015. There are no layoffs planned for uniform or civilian employees in FY 2015.

Negotiations between the City and the police union began in January 2014 with the expectation of a new contract in place by the end of October. To date, the fire union has declined eight invitations to begin collective bargaining negotiations with the City. A provision of the police and fire contracts provides that, absent a new agreement, the contracts remain in force until Sept. 30, 2024.

The adjustments made today are necessary in order to maintain a balanced budget, which is required by law.