MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD – Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger is not permitted to require detectives to wear ties or cancel casual Friday without consulting with the police union, an arbitrator ruled last month.
According to the decision, the arbitrator, Earle William Hockenberry, found that because the department previously had allowed detectives to wear casual clothes to work, that practice is considered a working condition — and altering it is subject to collective bargaining.
“He didn’t say the dress can’t be changed. He simply said it couldn’t be changed unilaterally …” said attorney Margo Pave, counsel to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 35.
Pave, who works for the District of Columbia law firm Zwerdling, Paul, Kahn, and Wolly, P.C., said the council’s decision during the summer to do away with a negotiation requirement known as effects bargaining does not apply in this case.
Effects bargaining mandates negotiation of workplace decisions, such as transfers, new equipment and other changes, as well as more common issues such as pay, benefits and working conditions.
Pave said the police union has other pending grievances against the county, but did not provide specifics.
Council members seek reduction in military spending
The Montgomery County Council introduced a resolution Tuesday supporting a decrease in federal military spending.
The resolution, supported by five council members, suggests the money be spent on education, health care, roads and other needs in Maryland and Montgomery County.
Council President Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring, along with council members Craig L. Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown; Marc B. Elrich (D-At large) of Takoma Park; George L. Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park; and Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring support the resolution.
Montgomery boards face cuts
The Montgomery County Council is considering separate proposals to reduce the number of volunteer commissions that serve County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and the council.
The county’s 86 boards and commissions have been in the spotlight since council members learned during the summer that the county spends more than $1 million per year on staff and stipends for the groups.
On Tuesday, Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring and Councilman Craig L. Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown introduced a bill that would sunset all boards and commissions not required under law and establish a timeline for the Committee Evaluation and Review Board to recommend to the council which groups should remain. The proposal, to be discussed at a public hearing Oct. 25, is supported by Council President Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) and Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At large), both of Silver Spring.
It follows a proposal last week from Councilman George L. Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park that would combine the regional and county recreation boards and eliminate the Cable Compliance Commission, Silver Spring Transportation Management District Advisory Committee and the Dickerson Area Facilities Implementation Group.
Leventhal’s suggestion would sunset all boards and commissions not required by law and begin a review of boards and commissions to determine which ones should continue their work.