Tulsa Police Chief Looks At More Concessions To Reduce Layoffs
By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Now that the mayor is talking employee concessions instead of layoffs.
The News On 6 sat down with the Police Chief as he looked at the union contract to see what else officers could possibly give up.
Web Extra: Police Chief Palmer's Letter To Officers
Like all city workers, the officers have already agreed to eight furlough days.
TPD also gave up their take-home police cars and some overtime pay.
Even if officers gave up every extra pay item in their contract, it still wouldn't save the $3.4 Million the mayor says he needs.
To avoid layoffs, they would have to also agree to across the board pay cuts of possibly 10-15% and even with all that, 150 people could still be demoted.
The mayor could ask Tulsa police officers to give up their education pay, which is 100 dollars a month for officers with a bachelor's degree and 150 dollars a month for a graduate degree.
They could also be asked to give up the 50 dollars a month some officers receive for speaking a second language.
Officers also receive $625 a year to buy uniforms and get $75 a month if they are in a specialty unit like the SWAT team or bomb squad, to buy extra equipment.
Adding all that up, still wouldn't reach the mayor's goal, which means a pay cut would also have to happen.
Web Extra: Tulsa Police Officer's Pay Chart
Chief Ron Palmer, TPD, "The eight furlough days are a soft pay cut. A hard pay cut is today you make X amount and you make 15 percent less tomorrow but everybody has a job and goes home at night … and has the same rank."
Palmer the mayor told him to create a proposal that would reorganize management at the police department from corporals on up, which means demotions.
Palmer says it would affect about 150 people, all who have studied, tested and worked hard to improve their career.
He believes it is unfair to strip that. Some people even argue demotions without just cause, the demotions would be illegal.
"What it does morale-wise and to the leadership of the police department is certainly damning and we don't endorse it and won't endorse it," Palmer said.
Palmer says 35% of those demoted would be women and minorities who the department worked hard to recruit and promote, in part due to a lawsuit filed by the black officer's coalition and all that would be lost.