San Antonio Parks/Airport police sue city to get pay equal to police department officers
San Antonio Parks/Airport police are suing the city government, arguing that thay deserve to be compensated the same way as officers in the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD).
“The base level of pay would change. The health care coverage would change. The incentive pays would change. The education pays would change. All of that would be the same because we would all be covered under one collective bargaining agreement,” Henry Bassuk, president of the San Antonio Park Police Officer Association (SAPPOA), told local TV station KSAT.
Bassuk’s officers receive the same benefits as San Antonio city employees who aren’t in uniform, KSAT reports. However, they field 40,000 calls per year and make 5,000 to 7,000 arrests every year.
Both SAPPOA and the city met behind closed doors to discuss the issue for two weeks, News 4 San Antonio reports. However, no agreement was reached, and the decision was made to file a lawsuit.
“You want me to do the work, you want me to take the risks,” Bassuk said, per News 4 San Antonio. “I am more than happy to do that. I just don’t understand why you would pay me differently, or treat me differently, than the person next to me doing the same job.”
A statement from SAPD noted that while the SAPD appreciated the partnership with SAPPOA, differences exist between the two associations’ standards, qualifications, training, investigative authority and responsibility, according to The Rivard Report.
“I don’t in any way want this to be that we’re attacking the San Antonio police officers or the police officers association, because we’re not,” Bassuk said, per KSAT.
The city government however, announced that SAPPOA would receive a 4 percent pay increase, with all other employees on the city’s “step pay plan” receiving an across the board 3 percent pay increase, News 4 San Antonio reports.
“We remain open to working with the San Antonio Park Police Officers Association to see how we can work together to address any other areas of concern,” San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia said, per News 4 San Antonio.