Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chicago police officers may lose a pay raise and any retro pay for one year due to FOP error

Chicago Cops may miss pay hike because of union gaffe: sources
Chicago Police officers may have to wait until next year to negotiate a new contract with the city — and forgo a retroactive pay increase in 2012 — thanks to an embarrassing oversight by the new leadership of the Fraternal Order of Police, City Hall sources said Tuesday.


Police and fire contracts are due to expire on June 30, but a little-known clause requires unions to notify the city between Feb. 1 and March 1 that they intend to terminate their contracts and commence negotiations on a new agreement. If they don’t serve notice during that time, the contract automatically rolls over for another year.

City firefighters and unions representing police sergeants, lieutenants and captains notified the city within the required time frame.

But City Hall contends FOP President Mike Shields missed the March 1 deadline, giving Mayor Rahm Emanuel an opening to either put off negotiations until June 30, 2013, or negotiate only those items that would cut taxpayer costs.

A mayoral confidant emphasized that the city has not yet decided whether to “stick it in the ear” of rank-and-file police officers.

“But we’re reserving the right to be selective in what we talk about because they blew it,” the source said.

Emanuel is expected to take a hard line in negotiations, specifically targeting a sick-leave policy that allows officers to take up to 365 days off every two years; a $1,800-a-year uniform allowance and yearly duty-availability pay — $2,800 that compensates officers for being on call at any time.

In an email to the Chicago Sun-Times, Shields maintained his letter to the city was “well within the timeline” required by state law.

“There is no issue . . . regarding the FOP’s intent to modify the terms and conditions of the labor agreement that expires June 30,” he wrote. “While others may believe that negotiations should be about technicalities and posturing, the FOP believes the upcoming negotiations . . . should be about protecting the citizens of Chicago while respecting the incredible work performed by members of the FOP. The difficult issues out there like manpower need to be resolved by both sides sitting down to make the city safer.”

Two years ago, Chicago taxpayers dodged a fiscal bullet when an arbitrator awarded rank-and-file police officers a 10 percent pay increase over five years, their smallest increase in 30 years.

The pay raise fell short of the 16.1 percent once offered by then-Mayor Richard M. Daley. The FOP initially demanded 24 percent.

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Comment section closed - posted for informational purposes only
I want to hear the FOP side of this before everybody jumps the gun on this...


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FOP RESPONDS:

Contract Negotiations Clarification


No matter what you read in the Sun Times quoting "off the record" sources, there is no dispute between the FOP and the City regarding upcoming contract negotiations. Our agreement was timely re-opened on March 20, 2012, well within the time limits that apply for modifications that would improve your labor agreement, address the critical issue of manpower, the safety of the public and of police officers, increase your wages and improve officers' welfare. Under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, 5 ILCS 315/7, a party to a collective bargaining agreement must terminate or modify the agreement by giving the other side notice of the intent to terminate or modify the agreement 60 days before the expiration date. Our contract expires June 30. Therefore, any notice before May 1 would have been timely notice. The IPLRA does not require us to give the City notice by March 1.

However, the labor agreement, Section 28.1, is anything but clear and unambiguous. The agreement provides that "notice of termination" must be given by March 1, 2012. FOP never intended to send a notice of termination. Our labor agreement needs modifications, not termination.

Your core negotiating committee has already solicited your ideas for improving our contract and the committee will be representing your interests in the negotiations no matter when the City comes to the table. Any further recommendations to the committee should be submitted via email to bdougherty@chicagofop.org or dgorman@chicagofop.org