No deal was reached when City of San Antonio and police union officials met to negotiate a labor contract on Tuesday.

The union had hoped to expedite the talks in order to deliver a deal for City Council to vote on ahead of the May 1 election, when the public will be asked if they want to continue negotiations.

The two sides remain deadlocked on disciplinary procedures regarding the appeals process for officers who violate the police department’s administrative and conduct rules.

Deputy City Manager María Villagómez, the City’s lead negotiator, and attorney Ron DeLord, the union’s lead negotiator, agreed to form a subcommittee composed of City and union representatives who will meet in private to attempt to reach a compromise. They will present what they discuss at the open meeting next week.

Wage and health care proposals from each side also are still under review.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg met San Antonio Police Officers Association President Danny Diaz for the first time on Monday to discuss “shared goals on public safety and keeping an open line of communication,” a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said.

It was an official visit unrelated to Nirenberg’s campaign for reelection, they said.

“The work on a new contract should be done as quickly as reasonably possible, but we will not rush at the expense of getting a fair agreement,” the mayor said after the meeting. “My focus is on reaching a sound agreement – not the timing of the vote.”

Mayor Ron Nirenberg departs the San Antonio Police Officers Association following a meeting on Monday.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg departs the San Antonio Police Officers Association following a meeting on Monday with union president Danny Diaz. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report

He declined to comment on Proposition B, which will ask voters if they want to repeal a state law (Chapter 174 of the Texas Local Government Code) that would strip the union of its ability to collectively bargain for its employment contract with the City. If a new contract is signed and approved by City Council before the May 1 election results are certified, it will remain valid for its term length regardless if Prop B passes.

“I am staying out of the fray on the ballot proposal because the City must negotiate the contract in good faith under the rules that exist today,” Nirenberg said. “Our main goal is to give Chief McManus the disciplinary powers he needs to weed out bad cops.”

Diaz said his meeting with the mayor was “great.”

“We had a productive discussion about public safety issues and the direction of the city,” Diaz said in an email. “The Mayor reiterated his support for collective bargaining. Mayor Ron Nirenberg and I are both committed to working together for a safer, stronger San Antonio.”

Iris Dimmick

Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at iris@sareport.org