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Pay cuts imminent for Oroville police and fire

More than $70,000 is estimated in salary savings after a major pay cut for public safety employees in Oroville.

Posted: Jan 2, 2018 6:08 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2018 8:14 PM

Oroville, Calif. -- More than $70,000 is estimated in salary savings after a major pay cut for public safety employees in Oroville.

These are major cuts for an already financially struggling community.

The move comes after the city council agreed to 10% salary cuts for the Oroville Police Officers Association's sworn and non-sworn officers in August.

The city council is meeting Tuesday night to approve a 10% salary reduction for public safety employees.

Approximately two months ago, the Oroville Police Officers Association took a 10% pay reduction which was the vast majority of police officers. The Oroville Firefighters Association also took a 10% pay reduction.

"I never like to see anyone take a reduction to their salary, but then the intellectual side of me tells me that financially the city is in a situation where the revenues have remained stagnant," said Bill LaGrone, Director of Public Safety.

Pay cuts will affect CalPERS, the interim deputy fire chief, two battalion chiefs, two police lieutenants and the chief building official and the fire marshal.

LaGrone is on a personal service contract which means he doesn't have job rights. They can let him go for any reason and he has a severance package that most employees do not have.

"Typically department heads are kept at that level with personal service contracts in case they have to make some sort of change," said LaGrone. 

The $70,000 savings will go in a new trust account with Public Agency Retirement Services.

Mayor Linda Dahlmeier said the Public Agency Retirement Services was chosen to make the pay cuts more palettable and reduce the debt for CalPERS.

"Frankly we're down 50 to 60 employees and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better soon. It really does take the community to come together and help a situation that's really out of our control," said Dahlmeier. 

A sales tax, aimed at addressing the lack in funding, was voted down last year.

"It would have been wise to pass that tax, but the reality is that we already spend 50 to 60 percent of our funds on public safety which is at that threshold," said Dahlmeier. 

Tuesday's meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on Montgomery Street.

Action news Now reporter James Villalobos will have more details on this meeting at 10 and 11 p.m.

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