City of Stockton Binding Arbitration for Fire Department Employees, Measure H (November 2010)

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A City of Stockton Eliminate Binding Arbitration for Fire Department Employees ballot proposition was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in the City of Stockton in San Joaquin County.[1] It was approved.

Measure H:

  • Changes how the fire chief is hired by eliminating a charter provision that the fire chief must be hired from the fire department.[2]
  • Changes how labor disputes are handled by eliminating a requirement that labor disputes with the fire union go to a third-party arbitrator.
  • Changes the rules governing firefighter vacation. Specifically, it would repeal a section of the city charter that allows firefighters to earn and use no fewer than 15 working days of vacation a year. The number of days of firefighter vacation would then be something that would be negotiated with the city in regular union negotiations, rather than being part of the city's charter.[3]

Election results

  • Yes: 28,841 (52.30%) Approveda
  • No: 26,306 (47.70%)

Election results are from the San Joaquin elections division as of November 26, 2010.


Supporters of Measure H believed that it is necessary in order to solve the problem the city has with high labor costs and that the situation is so dire that the city faces bankruptcy.

City Manager Bob Deis told the Business Council of San Joaquin County in September that the city faces insolvency.

Fritz Grupe, a business leader and supporter of Measure H, said, "If the city isn't successful with its finances, how can the businesses within it be? It's all tied together here."[3]

Other supporters included Mayor Ann Johnston, Dean Andal (a former Republican member of the California State Assembly), Patrick Johnston (a former Democratic member of the California State Senate) and Rick Goucher, president of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce.[2]


Stockton Firefighters opposed Measure H, as did former City Mayor Gary Podesto. He recently published a letter in The Record with his views.[4]

Other opponents included Stockton Professional Firefighters Local 456, United Way of San Joaquin County CEO Andy Prokop, former Mayor Gary Podesto, and former Fire Chief Gary Gillis.[2]

According to opponents, "Politicians in Sacramento and Stockton have spent money we don’t have. Now they are trying to make up for their mistakes by balancing the budgets at the expense of public safety. We can’t put our safety in the hands of the Stockton City Council."[3]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure H: Stockton Fire Department and Charter Amendments. Shall the Stockton City Charter be amended to provide for a modernized structure and administration of the Fire Department that includes revisions to the appointment procedure and duties of the Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief; revisions to impasse resolution procedures for employee disputes; exempting the Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief from the civil service system; and removing mandatory vacation accrual provisions for fire department employees?[5]

See also

External links


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