LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers’ Association (LAAPOA), the union that represents the sworn police officers and firefighters assigned to all three of Los Angeles’ owned and operated airports, says its officers voted to approve a tentative agreement after working without a mutually agreed upon contract for six years.
While the contract still requires the final approval of the city council, over 400 police officers and firefighters assigned to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Van Nuys Regional Airport and LA/Ontario International Airport voted to approve a contract that includes a first raise of 6.7% that will take effect in June 2016 followed by 2% raises in July 2017 and January 2018. Officers will not receive raises or cost of living allowances for years 2014 and 2015. The contract if approved will run through June 30, 2018.
This contract is the result of tedious mediations to achieve a global settlement agreement in an effort to resolve several open employee grievances, unfair labor practices and a pending lawsuit. In exchange, this contract improves the starting salary to the same amount as all other police agencies in Los Angeles, includes a $500 increased uniform allowance and a safety tier retirement with a .14% increased pension formula. In addition, LAAPOA members will have to contribute more money to the cost of medical, pension and retiree health.
Union president Marshall McClain described the new proposed contract as one in which officers had to concede certain objectives in the hopes to continue moving forward.
“Of course we would have preferred we’d gotten everything we asked for and believe we are deserving of–but this does get us closer to parity with the other two police agencies in Los Angeles. The Airport still has to do right by our members and provide us with a comparable retirement equal to the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Harbor Police. Our folks currently have to work about 14 more years than other police agencies to achieve the same retirement percentage. That’s 14 more years of putting our lives on the line. 14 more years breathing in bad carcinogens at the airport and risking injury. Airport Police lives matter too.”
The Los Angeles World Airports is a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles. The Airport Police are an autonomous agency with all salary and benefits paid by the Airport primarily through passenger landing fees not by any city or state taxes. There are no increased cost or impact to the city general fund.