This is an article posted by KCRA channel 3 on September 13,2013:
Two months before the general election, community leaders in Modesto are starting to campaign for Measure X.
Half the money would be used for public safety. The rest would go toward roads, economic development and jobs, with the remaining funds put into reserves.
In the past five years, Modesto lost 55 police officers and 33 firefighters.
If the measure does not pass, more cuts to public safety are expected.
Modesto has been dealing with a budget deficit ever since the recession, city officials said.
About 75 percent of the budget is made of fire and police personnel pay.
Measure X needs a simple majority to pass, come Nov. 5.
The measure failed in a close vote.
Front page of the Modesto bee on 12-3-2014
Council supports workers’ pay hike
The Modesto City Council on Tuesday approved pay increases for 327 employees that eventually will cost the city more than $1.6 million annually. These employees also will receive additional paid time off that will cost the city nearly $370,000. The pay increases and paid time off are part of labor agreements council members approved on a 7-0 vote. The accords are between the city and two of its six labor groups: the Modesto Confidential and Management Association and the Modesto Police Non-Sworn Association. Both have approved the agreements. The pay increases and additional time off come as Modesto grapples with adequately funding public safety and other basic services. About $940,000 of the $1.6 million in pay increases will come from the city’s general fund, which has been the city fund hit hardest by the recession. It also primarily funds police and fire services. Administrative Services Director Joe Lopez told council members that officials balanced protecting the general fund against fairly compensating employees in reaching the labor deals. He said these employees and managers have not seen an increase in their pay since early 2008 because of the economic downturn. He said they have seen their pay fall 5 percent after they started paying more of the cost of their pensions. He added that Modesto also needs to improve its compensation because it is having difficulty hiring and keeping employees. Council members offered no public remarks in approving the agreements. The agreements state: › MCMA and MPNSA members and the top managers will receive 2 percent raises effective Tuesday and 1 percent raises in March 2016. These raises will cost the city $819,621 annually, according to a city report. ›Employees whose compensation is 15 percent less than the median compensation based on surveys of similar local governments will receive increases to bring their compensation to within 15 percent of the median. The increases will come in two steps over the next year. The report states the increases will cost the city $802,493 annually. ›Modesto will increase the compensation for 54 job categories – such as legal secretary, senior planner, and police evidence and property technician – to bring the pay within 15 percent of the median. The pay increases average 6.76 percent and range from 2.5 percent to 12.5 percent. The report does not state how many workers fill these 54 job categories. › MCMA members and the top managers will receive three additional paid holidays this year and next year, and 32 hours of special paid leave they must use or cash in by June 30. MPNSA members will receive the same six additional paid holidays over two years but 24 hours of special paid leave they must use or cash in by June 30. The special leave will cost the city $369,580 for MCMA and MPNSA members, according to the report. › Fire Department Chief Sean Slamon and the department’s three battalion chiefs and two division chiefs will receive raises. The battalion and division chiefs also will see their pay increased by 10 percent to bring their compensation to within 15 percent of the median. Slamon and the five fire managers will pay 5 percent more of their pay toward their pensions. Because of that, Slamon will see a slight decline in his salary of $165,766. The two labor agreements cover about a third of the city’s workforce. City officials continue to negotiate labor agreements with the Modesto Police Officers Association, Modesto City Employees Association and the Modesto City Fire Fighters Association. The city reached a labor agreement in August with the Modesto Police Management Association, which called for its members to receive specialty pay increases of 3.2 percent or 5.7 percent in exchange for paying an additional 2.5 percent of their pay toward their pensions.