The Oakland police officers' union agreed to accept an $8.5 million cut in compensation, as the city received $19.7 million over the next three years from the federal government for policing the most of any city in the nation. According to the Chron, the Oakland City Council also voted last night to slash an additional $8 million from the city's budget. At this point, it looks as if the cuts, combined with the federal grant, will allow the city to avoid laying off police officers.
Mayor Ron Dellums deserves credit for obtaining the federal grant. Although the $19.7 million was significantly less than the $67 million the city originally requested, Dellums was able to use his connections in Washington DC to obtain the maximum allowed under the federal grant program. The $19.7 million will fund the salaries of 41 police officers over the next three years.
The cops' union also deserves credit for stepping up and agreeing to the compensation cuts. The union agreed to delay a 4 percent raise it was supposed to receive this year for four years. According to the Chron, the union also agreed to give up six paid leave days a year and will begin contributing to its pension plan for the first time in 2013. Vice Mayor Ignacio De La Fuente led the negotiations for the city.