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Posted on Wed, Jul 7, 2010 : 2:56 p.m.

Ann Arbor deputy police chiefs union first bargaining unit to fully meet city's call for concessions

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor officials say they're making progress on contract negotiations with the city's labor unions, lauding voluntary concessions ratified by the deputy police chiefs union.

The city's two deputy police chiefs, who are represented under Teamsters Local 214, have agreed to reopen their contract for 2010-11 — the last year of a four-year agreement — and make concessions that will save the city budget several thousand dollars.


Ann Arbor City Council Member Stephen Rapundalo, D-2nd Ward.

Ryan J. Stanton |

City Council Member Stephen Rapundalo, chairman of the council's labor committee, said two other bargaining units — Local 214 Teamsters Civilian Supervisors and the Teamsters Police Professional Assistants — also have negotiated contracts pending ratification that include concessions.

"I hope this is a signal to the other unions that have open contracts," Rapundalo said. "I hope that they will look seriously at the economic realities out there. I hope they will look seriously at what other bargaining units here within the city have stepped up to and I hope that they will factor that seriously into their ongoing negotiations with the city."

Rapundalo publicly thanked the deputy chiefs at Tuesday night's Ann Arbor City Council meeting as the council approve terms of the revised contract.

Highlights of the negotiated contract include:

  • An updated health care plan to include high and low plan options, with an increase in deductibles and premiums, an increase to preventative care from $750 to $1,000, and an increase in co-pays for mandatory mail order prescriptions to two co-pays for every three months of mail order prescriptions, effective Aug. 1.
  • An increase in pension contribution from 5 percent of pay to 6 percent of pay (pre-tax) effective Aug. 1.
  • Elimination of ICMA 457 match by the city effective July 1.
  • A $500 HRA contribution for each member effective July 1.
  • No across the board increase in wages.

The number of deputy chiefs in the Ann Arbor Police Department has shrunk from five to two in recent years, leaving just Greg Bazick and John Seto, who comprise the entire membership of the bargaining unit.

Bazick said the concessions were 100 percent voluntary on their part, as they understand the city's budget situation and the need to make personal sacrifices right now.

"We've made concessions outside of the negotiations process for a few years," he said. "We feel fortunate to be employed and to have the benefit packages that we do have. We recognize the state of the economy nationwide as well as locally, and we feel to make reasonable concessions just like the average citizen is fair and reasonable."

City officials said the deputy police chiefs and two other Teamsters bargaining units, whose contracts await ratification, will see increases in pension contributions consistent with the current contribution level for firefighters represented by IAFF 693 and non-union employees.

"Essentially all three of these unions have negotiated terms which provide savings to the city," Rapundalo said. "And, in particular, all three of these unions have negotiated to contribute more to the health care plan which covers their members and families, so this means increase in deductibles and premiums, it means increases in co-pays."

Rapundalo said the new health care plan for the deputy chiefs is the same as the one provided to the city's non-union employees. It has been a goal of the city's administration to bring union benefit packages, which are more generous, in line with those provided to non-union workers.

"The council has been fairly clear and consistent in its expectations regarding the need for savings from our employees, and certainly this collective bargaining agreement certainly achieves that," Rapundalo said. "And the primary contribution, of course, is through the increase in what the employees will have to provide to their health care plans."

Rapundalo said the deputy chiefs bargaining unit is the first union group to fully respond to the city's request for concessions, including in health care.

"Certainly I'd like to thank the members of this union and the two that will be ratifying for stepping up, for making the sacrifices, and allowing us to help meet our budgetary constraints," he said. "I think as everybody knows, Ann Arbor's not unique in this state. We find ourselves alongside many other communities needing to achieve savings."

Rapundalo ran through a list of stories from across Michigan he has read in the media in recent weeks.

"Warren was seeking a 15 percent savings in total compensation from their employee groups," he said. "Bay City delayed layoffs while it sought 10.8 percent in concessions. Madison Heights police recently agreed to concessions equal to about 6 percent of their pay and benefits. And Farmington Hills police command officers agreed to accept 5 percent pay cuts and reduced benefits. So the economic challenges persist for communities, and I think it's only fair and reasonable to ask our employees to be part of the solution in seeking the savings."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529.


Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sun, Jul 11, 2010 : 4:52 p.m.

I think it is very commendable that these two public officials took a hit for the city. They probably understand what few do in this city, that the city is in serious financial trouble because of the overly generous pension fund and retirement health care benefits handed out over the past several years (including generous "buy-outs"). @AlphaAlpha has brought many noteworthy statistics to the discussion. The City of Ann Arbors most recently published annual financial audit report (CAPERS) notes that the pension fund and retirement health care fund combined deficit as of June 2009 had increased to $190 million, an increase in the deficit of $75 million in the 12 months to June 30, 2009. To put $190 million in context, the proposed city income tax would raise $9 million per year. All of the city's (very high) property taxes raised a total of $70 million in 2009. Don't believe me that the city has dug itself a $190 million financial hole? See - see pages 85 & 87 of the pdf and tally up the sum of the UAAL in notes 12 and 13. The giant hole in the city's pension and healthcare retirement funds can be plugged only by reducing benefits, reducing other spending or substantially increasing the annual contribution of cash from the city's coffers.


Fri, Jul 9, 2010 : 8 a.m.

Given the colorful history of the Teamsters Union, I find it ironic that the two Deputy Police Chiefs are members. It is also a further example of how screwed up government is that the "bargaining unit" consists of two people.


Thu, Jul 8, 2010 : 7:43 p.m.

"Elimination of ICMA 457 match by the city effective July 1" Well, I guess that $20 isn't much, but it's start......


Thu, Jul 8, 2010 : 7:12 p.m.

"how much would you like to pay a city worker?" Bottom line first: they would average $57,179 per year. It is fortunate that recognition has quickly spread that, in general, and nationwide, government employee compensation is significantly greater, job for job, than private sector compensation. This is a fact, and the BLS has much data to support this claim. The evidence is indisputable. Indisputable as the facts are, many, (mainly public employees with an understandable special interest in maintaining their elite pay status), would try to either: deny this fact; or justify this fact; or try to obfuscate and confuse fair-wage proponents into accepting that the status quo is good. The deniers have claimed BLS numbers are 'bogus' or 'meaningless data', the justifiers claim they have special skills, or education levels, or experiences, and the obfuscators...well, they are the best debaters, but thankfully BLS data is gold standard benchmark quality, and leaves very little to debate or be confused about. Anyone can also visit a variety of sites with salary info, such as or, etc., to get a good idea of real world wages for jobs currently held by city employees, or nearly anyone. The numbers correspond well. Since average total compensation for city employees has risen to $103,769 per year per (easily Searched) figures calculated and discussed ad nauseum elsewhere on this site, and since the average private sector employee only receives $57,179 total compensation per year per BLS numbers also onsite here, normalizing city worker wages to the national average would save customers 103,769 - 57,179 = 46,590 per worker per year; times 766 workers = $35.7 million per year. Currently, city workers average 181% above private sector compensation. Some contend that is a bit high, most think it's way too high. Not what you wanted to hear, but the writing is on the wall. The fact that the reductions mentioned in the article occurred almost effortlessly is huge. None of us like the situation. It stinks. But many taxpayers are insolvent; tax increases are very problematic, and like it or not, city employees, being near the top of the pay scale, are likely going to see substantial compensation reductions soon.


Thu, Jul 8, 2010 : 8:21 a.m.

"concessions that will save the city budget several thousand dollars" Wow Steve Rapundalo, you are my hero for the day. Save the city "several thousand dollars a year" and make a big deal of it. You need to quit asking and begging the unions to negotiate and had better start playing hard ball with them. These concessions are minimal at best and if adopted across all union employees, will not save the city enough money moving forward.


Thu, Jul 8, 2010 : 8:19 a.m.

I think that it IS important that they take cuts first. If you expect the rank and file to take cuts it is important that the bosses show that they are willing to share the pain. Not just demand it. That makes their gesture far more important than the actual cash savings. Now lets see if the Police Command Union will follow their lead. If they do my prediction is lline officers union will too.


Thu, Jul 8, 2010 : 6:13 a.m.

No golden parachutes for the upper echelon at AAPD this year? Hmmm, maybe they have to wait until next year after the fiasco regarding retirements at AAFD.

The Watchman

Thu, Jul 8, 2010 : 3:29 a.m.

Yes, it is easier to make some concessions when one makes $115k.


Wed, Jul 7, 2010 : 8:15 p.m.

Two very nice gentlemen in Administrative positions that make over 100k+ a year constitute a "Union"? Very gracious of them (I mean that sincerely), but what type of savings does that reflect overall for the City?


Wed, Jul 7, 2010 : 7:03 p.m.

That was nice of them to give back a fraction of their, $100,000 plus salaries.


Wed, Jul 7, 2010 : 6:17 p.m.

I know both of these gentlemen from my former career in LE and they are both first class individuals. AAPD and AAFD are outstanding departments and deserve all the respect and support a municipality can give.


Wed, Jul 7, 2010 : 6:04 p.m.

Outstanding. Congratulations to these folks for being proactive. The handwriting has been on the wall, western-worldwide, for several years. As much as we like our city employees, their compensation is too high. The reductions described appear as yet inadequate, but are a great start. Perhaps now we can set a lucid example for the city 'administrator'.


Wed, Jul 7, 2010 : 5:52 p.m.

Wow, two people agreed to concessions....


Wed, Jul 7, 2010 : 4:40 p.m.

But wait those firefighter layoffs aren't the fault of the CIty, it's those greedy firefighters who refuse to retire. Yep, that's right shift the blame away from City Hall nothing to see here folks keep moving right along.


Wed, Jul 7, 2010 : 4:21 p.m.

Hunterjim, How can you doubt the City. The firefighters took a reduction in order not to get laid off....and the City and the City did not lay them least for a couple months.


Wed, Jul 7, 2010 : 3:50 p.m.

It is nice to see that the DC's decided to open their contracts for reconcideration and concessions. They did not have to do that. I hope the City Councils in the future remember this when times are again good, and the City is in a better position to cover the budget and increase pay for it's employee's. Remember the employees made concessions, not the city. but if history is any gauge, it will be forgotten and the city will never bargain in good faith....they haven't in the last 20 years....