City Manager Stephen Dunn and Mayor Ray Musser had said Thursday that the city will need to cut spending aggressively in order to avoid a state of fiscal emergency and potentially filing for bankruptcy.
Cuts could include outsourcing police and fire services as well as reducing compensation or benefits for city employees.
Spokesmen for the city's police and fire unions said public safety has already been cut too much and claimed city leaders are misspending public money.
"The city's problems are based on financial errors," said Marc Simpson, president of the Upland Police Officers Association.
Michael Carney, president of the Upland Fire Fighters Association, said running the city like a business is not working.
"It's sad that the leaders of our city aren't holding each other accountable in regard to the financial situation," he said. "As an association or as individuals, when we spend our money we know where it's going and what to prepare for."
A memo written by Dunn and obtained by the Daily Bulletin shows that the city's general fund reserve was $1.4 million at the end of the fiscal year that ended June 30 - $2.7 million below what the city had projected.
Simpson said in a statement that the police union is astonished at the city's lack of financial accountability.
"It's time for the council to make public safety a priority," he said. "Cuts are no longer acceptable and will place the citizens and (the city's) officers in undue peril."
In his memo, Dunn said the cost overruns were attributable to higher payouts than budgeted for employees whose positions were eliminated, legal fees and city departments that exceeded their budgets.
City officials are currently reviewing a contract proposal from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and are seeking proposals for fire services.
Simpson said the proposal from the Sheriff's Department will show the city is currently paying less to have its own police department.
"The council will be forced to admit that they receive police services at a bargain compared to all other cities in the Inland Empire," he said. "The cost for a deputy is substantially higher than an Upland officer, their benefits are better and more expensive."
Additionally, the city would not be able to control all costs, and services would be drastically reduced, Simpson said.
The city made $3.3 million in cuts in May, which included $2.3 million in reductions to city services and layoffs in the Police Department.
The City Council had asked the city's seven employee groups to agree to a salary freeze and either a pay cut or to pay their portion of their pensions in order to avoid the $2.3 million hit to city departments.
No agreements were reached, and the council moved forward with the cuts in July.
The two unions offered to make concessions in return for a two-year contract. The the council rejected that on the basis that being locked into a contract for two years would inhibit their ability to go to bid for police and fire services.
"We probably wouldn't be having this problem right now if the City Council accepted our offer of concessions from police and fire," Carney said. "Police gave up a lot and so did we. We were willing to pay our full pensions."
Carney said the Fire Department is currently operating at its "bare bone minimum."
"We have one fire chief, three battalion chiefs, which are for each shift, and we have minimum staff on engines," he said. "Total of 13 guys on duty for the whole entire city."
The Police Department eliminated its SWAT team, and Simpson said that since 2009 staffing has been reduced to 1980s levels.
"In the same time period, population has risen 5.5 percent and is expected to rise another 5 percent by 2015," Simpson said. "These losses and the increased population has overburdened our patrol staff and detective bureau. The ability to pro-actively police has been greatly reduced."
Reach Sandra via email, call her at 909-483-8555, or find her on Twitter @UplandNow .