October 11, 2014
FOP Lodge #93 Union Contract Update
The Fraternal Order of Police Labor committee met with the Sheriff’s negotiation team on October 9, 2014. The meeting was scheduled for 0900-1700hrs. The meeting was cut short, because the Sheriff’s team was unable to meet the entire day.
The critical issues yet to be resolved are Wages, Discipline and Bargaining Rights. The following is a synopsis of these issues.
WAGES – The Sheriff has proposed 4.5% each year for the next two years for those who are not topped out. Members will advance one step each year and will receive a 1.5% increase to each step. For those members topped out the Sheriff will adjust their base pay by 1.5% and give those members a 1.5% lump sum payment in lieu of advancing a step in the pay plan. The Sheriff has proposed a reopener on wages in the third year of the contract.
The 4.5% is contingent upon the Sheriff and the Union requesting that Board of County Commission approve the additional funding. This proposal is also contingent on both parties agreeing that all other articles are settled and not subject to bargaining if the Board Of County Commission declines the wage proposal.
The Union has proposed a 6% increase for each year of the contract. We are currently ranked 9th on pay in the Central Fl. Area. Deputies are clearly underpaid and we believe the Sheriff has the ability to pay this proposal based on current revenue.
DISCPLINE – The Sheriff has proposed status quo on the current discipline process. The Union has asked for a 5 member Discipline Appeals Board (DAB) and that their decision be binding on the Sheriff. The current process is a 3 member Discipline Appeal Board and their decision is only a recommendation to the Sheriff and is not binding. As you know, in today’s political climate it is important to ensure that disciplinary decisions are insulated from unfair factors, which we think will be to the benefit both the Sheriff and his deputies.
BARGAINING RIGHTS – As the contract is currently written, the Sheriff has unilateral authority to change many terms and conditions of employment that are normally addressed at the bargaining table. The Sheriff has understandably proposed to continue the existing language, which permits changes to important working conditions with bargaining. The Union has revised this proposal several times. Our last proposal was the right to be noticed and bargain only over changes to those General Orders specifically incorporated in the Contract. Current language allows the Sheriff to unilaterally change any General Order including those included in the contract without bargaining with the Union.
The right to bargain over changes to GOs is a fundamental (state constitutional) right that was waived by the PBA in previous contracts. It is critical that the Union retain the ability to bargain over proposed changes to the terms and conditions of employment. Without this right, the contract has limited value.
The Sheriff’s team has given the Union limited dates to meet and bargain. This is frustrating for the Union as we have been available to meet on multiple days each month since we started this process. We have asked the Sheriff’s team for an additional date to meet this month in an attempt to move forward in reaching an agreement.
The General Meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #93 will be held on Tuesday October 14, 2014 at FOP Lodge 25. Dinner will be served from 5:30-6:30pm and the General Meeting will begin at 6:30pm. The Labor Committee will be present to answer any questions concerning current contract negotiations.
As always, we encourage your comments and questions concerning this process. Please direct all questions or comments to Jay Smith, Staff Representative Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #93 at Jay.Smith@foplodge93.com or 407-913-7281
FOP Lodge #93