SAN ANTONIO – After a years-long battle over health care costs, San Antonio City Council voted 9-2 Thursday to approve a new collective bargaining agreement between the city and its police officers union.
"It was a tough go, but it is time to move forward and move forward in a positive way and I certainly believe that we can do that," City Manager Sheryl Sculley said.
The five-year deal, which SAPOA members approved last month, includes pay raises for officers and a stipulation that they contribute toward health insurance plans.
That article alone will save the city a projected $87.5 million in health care costs during the life of the contract.
"You probably never heard of me prior to 2013, and I was in office since 2008. And I'd like to go back to that place again where you didn't even know who I was," said San Antonio Police Officers Association President Mike Helle, referring to the often-public dispute over the contract.
Mayor Ivy Taylor said she had mixed emotions about the contract, since comments from the public recently have demonstrated the need for frank discussions on police reform.
Councilmember Rey Saldana in recent weeks stated publicly the agreement should be reworked to include police accountability reform.
Saldana and Councilman Ron Nirenberg were the two members to vote against the plan Thursday.
(© 2016 KENS)