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Police Give Back City Furlough Days
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An agreement between the Escalon Police Officers Association and the City of Escalon will see the third Friday of the month furlough days come to an end for the police department.

Instead, members of the Police Officers Association will allocate more money for their PERS contribution.

"The (money) will be equal to the cost" of what the city is saving by enacting the furlough days, said interim City Manager Henry Hesling.

Talks between Hesling and employee organizations in closed session resulted in the officers agreeing to the additional payment to PERS in exchange for discontinuing the furlough days.

"It's because of the coverage," Hesling admitted of wanting to keep the department open.

The third Friday of each month has been designated as a citywide furlough day as a cost saving measure. Other departments will continue to observe the previously enacted furlough schedule.

"The GSU (General Services Unit) kept it where it's at," Hesling said of the agreement, maintaining the furlough days.

In other negotiations, Hesling said the city did get openers with both groups, general services and police, to talk salary and medical. New employees will also likely go in with a higher contribution to PERS than existing employees.

"We also have openers in case the state hits us too much more," explained Hesling.

With the furlough days and keeping expenditures to a minimum, officials are hoping to get through the fiscal year with the bulk of the city's reserve fund intact. However, Hesling said, all council members and city officials are cognizant of the fact that the next few years are likely to be tough.

Agreement between the city and employee groups came following a closed session at the Monday, Aug. 16 regular meeting of the council. Other items on the agenda included hearing the monthly building report, as well as recreation activity and police department activity reports for July. An update was also provided on the development of an enterprise zone.