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SAPOA's new collective bargaining agreement for officers faces pushback from community groups

ACT 4 SA says police can still use vacation days for unpaid suspensions, and that the police civilian review board is too weak. SAPOA members have approved the deal.
Credit: KENS 5

SAN ANTONIO — Community groups are gathering on the steps of City Hall to speak against the new collective bargaining agreement for the San Antonio Police Officers' Association.

In April, SAPOA members voted 1358-214 to ratify a new contract with the city that will give officers a raise and bolster disciplinary procedures for officers accused of misconduct. 

"Although we have made great strides in police discipline in this contract, there are still several key demands made by the community that remained absent throughout contract negotiations and now in this current proposed contract," said Ananda Tomas, Executive Director of ACT 4 SA.

ACT 4 SA and other organizations are concerned that officers can still use vacation days in place of unpaid suspensions, and called the police civilian review board (CCARB) the weakest oversight group across the 5 major cities in Texas.

"Revisions to the CCARB were mentioned by the Mayor and City Manager in 2020. At one point it was on the list of possible priorities headed into contract negotiations, but fell off for some unknown reason," Tomas said in a press release.

ACT 4 SA and partners say they will be asking for City Council to vote down the contract because of these concerns, which would require the agreement to be amended and then voted on again by both SAPOA membership and the City.

"Most, if not all, of our current city council will no longer be in their seats come next contract negotiations," said Kimiya Factory, Executive Director of Black Freedom Factory and Central Texas Organizer for Black Voters Matter. "We are asking for our city council to be bold and make sure they vote in the best contract possible before they leave and we have to wait another 5 years for reforms."

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