Thursday, May 7, 2009

Snippets and Random Questions

The mayor was noticeably absent at the Police Officer Memorial. What was more important than honoring those who have given their lives to protect the citizens of San Diego? What would take priority over such an important day in Law Enforcement that would prevent a past Chief of Police from attending? These are after all rhetorical questions posed by many who were in attendance. Maybe he knew he was not welcome?

Last night I talked about the mayor eliminating DROP from the Captains of the San Diego Police Department. I shared the comments of the mayor's spokesperson Rachel Laing, as she attempted to justify allowing San Diego Fire and Rescue Management to maintain DROP. Liang said, "Rank and file firefighters work 24 hour shifts, 10 days a month. To become management, they shift to a traditional five day, 40 hours week. These managers may not earn more pay because they can no longer earn overtime as managers."

I keep going over this attempt at justification for the mayor's actions. I find myself shaking my head and talking to myself. Who does the mayor think he is kidding? Did the mayor really approve this statement? A Fire Fighter promoted into the management ranks will work a, "traditional five day, 40 hour week" and "may not earn more pay because they can no longer earn overtimes." I will assume for argument sake these 10 managers will work more than the stated 40 hours and not receive overtime.

The San Diego Police Department has thirteen (13) Captains who work a "traditional five day, 40 hour week." These Captains DO NOT EARN MORE PAY BECAUSE THEY CAN NO LONGER EARN OVERTIME AS CAPTAINS!!! The typical Captain for the San Diego Police Department will work 50-60 hours a week attending community meetings; responding to incidents within his/her command; attending line-ups and monitoring the activities of their command around the clock. These Captains are "on-call" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The San Diego Police Department has six (6) Chief's who work a "traditional five day, 40 hour week." These Chiefs DO NOT EARN MORE PAY BECAUSE THEY CAN NO LONGER EARN OVERTIME AS CHIEFS!!! The Chief's for the San Diego Police Department routinely work 50-60 hours a week attending community meetings, meeting with civic groups, business groups and individuals; responding to incidents city-wide and representing the Police Department and City at various functions. The Chief's routinely arrive for work at or around 0530 hours (that's 5:30 AM) and begin discussing incidents from the prior day and planning for known events of the day. The Chief's will leave their offices after 1700 hours (5:00 PM) putting in 12 hour days routinely. If they have evening events or meetings these days can stretch into 15-16 hour days. This is ALL without receiving a penny of overtime.

Can someone explain this disparate treatment at the hands of the mayor? Is the mayor saying the 10 management employees for the Fire Department (678 employees) are more important that the 19 who lead the Police Department (2,100 employees)? Is the mayor saying he wishes to reward and encourage those seeking management positions with the Fire Department over those leading the Police Department?

The list of the top salaries of City employees contains a number of Firefighters at the top. The overtime for Firefighters is endless. The overtime for Police Officers is reduced every year. The Fire Department uses a "Constant Manning" staffing plan that requires a number of firefighters to work 24 hour shifts for overtime every day to meet the minimum staffing which is contained in their Labor Contact. The loss of paid holidays and a 1.7% reduction in salary and the 3% increase in their retirement contribution is offset by working two additional overtime days a month. This is common for the majority of Firefighters. The mayor made no change in the overtime policies within the Fire Department. The mayor allowed Firefighters Local 145, the union representing Firefighters, to keep their DROP entry of 50 and only froze the retiree medical for two years (SDPOA had theirs capped at $740 forever).

The mayor cannot justify the unequal treatment of San Diego Police Department Management, compared to that of San Diego Fire Rescue. The mayor's elimination of benefits and treatment of the most senior, experienced and trusted of employees of the most important department within the City can only be explained as the actions of a Narcissistic person who seeks to inflict injury because he can. The mayor was asked recently why he is so intent on removing DROP and destroying the Police Department. His reply was simple. The mayor said, "I don't really care about DROP. It's political."

What does this say about a man who uses politics as the excuse for his actions?

1 comment:

Lips Closed Tight said...

Where is the POA in all this? I have looked at the POA "Blog" and there are 10 people who use that for their own venue. What are they doing? Seems the "new" board needs help? The PD and POA will soon mirror each other. So little experience in both you will see inaction out of ignorance. What a sad state.