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STATE REPRESENTATIVES

FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVES

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August 7, 2014

TO:                 All Concerned Bargaining Unit Members

FROM:           Fraternal Order of Police-Lodge 93

                        Labor Council Committee

SUBJECT:   Media Release in Response to Sheriff’s Position

                        Collective Bargaining Status-Impasse Declaration

On Monday, August 4th, 2014, the FOP formally declared impasse in the current negotiations for a new contract between the Sheriff and FOP Lodge 93.
With this, the statutory impasse resolution process begins as follows: we will first have a hearing before a Special Magistrate, followed by another hearing before the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, which will ultimately determine any unresolved issues.

The decision to declare impasse was taken after careful deliberations by your FOP bargaining team, and was in substantial part driven by the Sheriff's bargaining team's announcement that it was unavailable for a month, even though the contract is about to expire. Our lawyer, Mr. Richard Siwica, timely notified the Sheriff's lawyer when the impasse process was initiated.

In the meantime, the Sheriff - who has not attended a single bargaining session - issued a letter, written by Captain Bruce McMullen, dated August 5th, 2014, that both misrepresents what has occurred in negotiations thus far, and inaccurately describes this process going forward.

There are several areas related to Captain McMullen’s memo that has to be addressed:

1.         The Sheriff complains that the current contract reflects "ten years of negotiations," and is a "meaningful" agreement. The truth - and everyone but the Sheriff's bargaining team seems to know this - is that the current agreement provides inferior wages and benefits.  The Sheriff’s lead negotiator, Wayne Helsby, said that the contract was “purchased” through concessions and agreements in past contracts and should remain “status quo.” 


2.         The Sheriff sidesteps a central issue in negotiations: that the current contract is riddled with language that allows changes important policies and benefits without bargaining with the FOP.  For example, policies relating to overtime availability and grooming policies were recently changed to the detriment of Deputies; these are but two recent examples of the many terms and benefits of employment that have been changed without negotiations with Deputies over the years; you may think of many other examples yourselves. Because the FOP has proposed at the table to remove some of the language allowing management to unilaterally change terms and conditions of employment, the Sheriff's bargaining team threatened to retaliate by reducing basic terms and conditions of employment.  In essence, if we continue to ask to change the current CBA and ask for fair treatment in discipline, policy review, and binding arbitration, then the Sheriff will go back to the way things were before the union CBA’s.

3.         The Sheriff's bargaining team has, in fact retaliated, and has actually proposed to cut existing terms and conditions of employment, many of which are already substandard.) You will be disappointed to know that, after "bargaining" since May 5th, 2014,
the Sheriff's current proposals actually include:

  • Overtime hours to be calculated at 86 hours per pay period, not 82 hours.
  • Limiting the interpretation of what is a receipt of a complaint made by a person outside the agency and does not apply to investigations initiated by a complaint originated from within OCSO.
  • Change Union pool time from the current 2,100 hours per year to 1,600 hours per year.
  • Proposed language to not allow the union to bargain the impact of the changes of policies.
  • Eliminating current “out of county” take home car fees and replace them with a $60.00 per period fee.
  • Proposed language that would allow supervisors to require employees at the Orange County Convention Center to be required to wear the Class B uniform, disallowing the Class C uniform at the Convention Center. 

Do proposals like these show that the Sheriff's bargaining team is bargaining in good faith?

The Sheriff continues to refuse any change to the Discipline article concerning an independent review by a neutral arbitrator. Review by a neutral arbitrator is a common provision in contracts - just ask fellow law enforcement officers at the Orlando Police Department.

4.         Wages - Several weeks ago the FOP proposed a modest step-wage system, with an initial 3% wage increase, followed by 3% step increases (for a total of 6% annually for non-topped out employees). Meanwhile, the Sheriff has failed to make a wage proposal of any kind, even though the contract expires in less than two months.  Our proposal is modest and takes budget constraints into account by asking for a 6% increase each year to help undo some of the damaging effects of years without any raises for employees.  Our proposal would mean that each CSO, Deputy, Corporal, and Sergeant would move to the next step in their pay chart, then that step would be increased overall by 3% in addition to the move to that step.  This would equate to a 6% increase to each CSO, Deputy, Corporal, and Sergeant’s base pay.  Even with a 6% increase to starting deputy pay (along with all other deputies), our agency would remain mired in the lower tier of starting pay in Orange County among all law enforcement agencies.  However, it is a step in the right direction, allowing for each CSO, Deputy, Corporal, and Sergeant to advance a step each year with an additional increase to their pay.  We would feel like we are actually moving forward again.  Unlike the Sheriff’s prior proposals in which all employees remain in “Step Chart Quicksand” sinking while health insurance premiums increase and the OCSO pay plan is stagnant.

5.         On May 21st, 2014, the FOP asked whether a budget request had been submitted to the Orange County Mayor's Office, and the FOP asked for a copy of it.  The Sheriff's negotiators asserted that the request had not been submitted.  That was untrue, the budget request - including a mere 3% wage proposal - had in fact already been submitted to the County on April 30, 2014, before there had been any discussion about wages at the bargaining table.

This is the “Orange County Budget Calendar” (see Orange County Proposed Budget, page 30, FY 2014-15), overlaid with OCSO Negotiations with FOP Calendar:

Month / Date

BCC / Department Requirement

OCSO / FOP Contact Negotiations Status

January - February

BCC and County Administrators meet to discuss budget priorities.

Still negotiating 2013 Re-Openers in CBA

March

Departments (Sheriff too) prepare budget and input it into County software.

Ratified Reopeners 2013 CBA

April - May

OMB reviews budgets submitted and County Admin meets with Departments concerning budget requests.

(March 15, 2014) Requested to Bargain Starting on April 14, 2014 for 2014 CBA. [See Attachment]

April 30th

Sheriff Submitted 2014-15 Budget to BCC [See Attached Letter to Mayor Teresa Jacobs].

May 1st

Sheriff’s Budget is due to BCC.

Still have not met for 2014 CBA bargaining sessions.

May 5th

1st negotiation session between OCSO and FOP. 

May 21st

Department budget meetings with the County Mayor and County Administrator.

 2nd negotiation session between OCSO and FOP. Sheriff’s lead negotiator claims their budget has not been submitted to BCC.

May - June

Compilation of the budgets -operating and capital improvement.

Continued negotiation meetings.

July 1

Deadline for delivery of certified tax roll from Property Appraiser.

Continued negotiation meetings.

August 1

BCC certifies millage rate.

No new meetings scheduled, OCSO-Lead Attorney/Negotiator on vacation for month of August.

August 5th

FOP files Impasse with PERC

September 30

2013 CBA EXPIRES

October 1st

Budgets are implemented

The above chart illustrates how the Sheriff submits his budget request to the Board of County Commissioners (legislative body governing collective bargaining contract disputes).  The Sheriff prepared and submitted his budget before holding the 1st bargaining session with the FOP.  Common sense would dictate that the Sheriff should collectively bargain the wages, insurance, and other financial impacts to his budget submission before submitting a budget to the BCC.  However, the Sheriff does not follow such a logical pattern.  In the Sheriff’s letter on April 30, 2014 with his budget submission, he states, “Nor does it contain additional salary adjustments resulting through collective bargaining beyond the 3% salary increase established by the Mayor’s guidelines.” 

6.         Captain Bruce McMullen chastises the FOP in his August 5th memorandum for proposing 6% annual increases, when "the County has only provided funding for 3% increases." What Captain McMullen fails to mention is that (1) it was the Sheriff who requested "only" 3% from the County, and the County gave the Sheriff precisely what he asked for; (2) the Sheriff made his 3% budget request without first discussing the issue of wages at the bargaining table; and (3) the Sheriff's bargaining team claimed to be unaware that a budget request had been submitted to the County.

7.         With less than two months before the contract is to expire, the Sheriff's bargaining team has failed to make a wage proposal of any kind, and is unable to return to the bargaining table for a month.

8.         The Sheriff's negotiators are setting up a familiar bargaining tactic, you have seen this before and they are at it again:

  • Dragging out bargaining until the eve of contract expiration. 
  • The Sheriff will refuse to agree to the retroactivity of wage increases (in the event he makes a wage proposal).
  • This will in turn put unfair pressure on Deputies to agree to the Sheriff's “take-aways” in other portions of the contract to avoid the loss of wage retroactivity.
  • This process is creating a “retroactive” issue with your wages, then making you agree to less than you bargained for in order to get “retroactive” or “lump sum” payments back.

Declaring impasse is the only solution to the tactics of the Sheriff's bargaining team.  A special magistrate will be appointed and the contract may ultimately be resolved by the Orange County Commission.  In the meantime, the parties are required by law to keep bargaining. This continuing (post-declaration of impasse) duty to bargain is why the FOP directed its lawyer to schedule additional bargaining sessions, which should not have been "puzzling" to Captain McMullen as he claims in his memorandum.

The FOP's attempt to schedule bargaining sessions is entirely consistent with our longstanding desire to reach agreement at the table or, if necessary, before the Orange County Commission.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we work through this process collectively.

In Solidarity,

Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 93

Labor Council Committee

Orange County Sheriff's Office - Memorial Page

Jonathan Scott Pine - End of Watch February 11, 2014

Michael Erickson - End of Watch March 16, 2011

Sebastian Diana - End of Watch March 12, 2011

BRANDON L. COATES - End of Watch December 8, 2010

CRAIG A. HEBER - End of Watch July 21, 2010

MARK LINDSEY PARKER - End of Watch March 19, 2009

MICHAEL ANTHONY CALLIN - End of Watch August 2, 2006

MARIANO LEMUS JR. - End of Watch May 6, 2005

JAMES MARCUS WEAVER - End of Watch November 24, 2003

JOHN HAROLD HOLLOMON - End of Watch December 15, 1998

GRADY TERRILL BRADDOCK - End of Watch May 27, 1998

JOHN JOSEPH CREEGAN - End of Watch May 29, 1996

HARRY JORDAN DALTON JR. - End of Watch March 25, 1991

THOMAS ALLEN INGRAM - End of Watch May 12, 1990

FRANK NELSON SETON - End of Watch January 4, 1989

ARNOLD WILLIAM WILKERSON - End of Watch January 10, 1984

SAMUEL PARKER JR. - End of Watch January 23, 1974

BOBBY L. CORLEY SR. - End of Watch August 8, 1965

Sheriff David W.L. Mizell - End of Watch February 21, 1870

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