SANTA FE — The Santa Fe Police Officers Association has accused the city of failing to bargain in “good faith,” costing officers “fringe benefits, work benefits and seniority rights” by refusing to make adjustments on the city employee pay scale.
In a lawsuit filed against the city, the officers association is seeking unspecified damages and “proper placement” on a pay scale for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the city and the police union.
The city and the association did not agree on a new contract for police employees by the time Santa Fe’s 2013-2014 budget was adopted. According to the lawsuit, city officials rejected the group’s efforts to continue negotiations.
A response by the city denies the lawsuit’s claims, and Mayor Ralph Stenzel said city officials had remained open to continued negotiations.
“Everyone is extremely disappointed,” Stenzel said.
League City attorney Gregory Cagle, who is representing the police association, did not return phone messages left this week.
The lawsuit contends that after a freeze on pay raises for Santa Fe employees was lifted in January 2013, police officers did not advance on a pay scale included in the collective bargaining agreement between the officers association and the city.
The officers association filed a grievance, but the process was “exhausted,” according to the lawsuit.
The city has requested a jury trial.