Pittsburgh Firefighters Union’s Grievance Over City Vaccine Mandate Granted

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An arbitrator granted a grievance filed by the Pittsburgh firefighters union against the city of Pittsburgh over its employee vaccine mandate. On Monday, arbitrator Gerald Kobell ruled the city of Pittsburgh violated state labor law by refusing to bargain with Pittsburgh Firefighters Local No. 1 about the mandate. The city made an […]

Labor Relations Board Dismisses Troopers’ Union Vax Mandate Challenge

The complaint filed by the State Police troopers union against Gov. Charlie Baker over his vaccine mandate for public employees has been dismissed by an investigator with the Department of Labor Relations who ruled that the administration did not violate its obligation to bargain the vaccination requirement. The State Police Association of Massachusetts challenged Baker’s […]

Nevada Police Union Says Nevada State Police Seeing High Rates Of Trooper Turnover

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — Sixty-six trooper have left Nevada State Police so far this year. Officials with the Nevada Police Union say there are sometimes only about six troopers covering the entire valley a day. Wayne Dice with the union, which covers state police, says they’re seeing a mass exodus of troopers. “It’s becoming not […]

Q & A

From Washington:Question: If a state can’t balance their budget, can they take from state employee (police) pensions? Can police officers lose our pensions for a state’s financial disparity? Answer: Federal bankruptcy laws allow cities to seek bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code. That allows cities to reorganize debt and cut pension benefits. […]

Corrections Union Loses Grievance By Failing To Follow Requirements Of Grievance Procedure

Local 1741 of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) represents corrections officers working for the federal Bureau of Prisons. In May 2016, AFGE notified the warden of a Bureau facility that it was grieving the Employer’s alleged failure to equitably distribute overtime among bargaining unit employees, attaching a draft grievance to its email. About […]

Fire Union Gains Access To Chief’s Emails

Local 93 of the IAFF, representing Cleveland’s firefighters, made a public records request for the Fire Chief’s email correspondence dealing solely with emergency responses, such as medical emergencies, structure fires, and motor vehicle accidents, from January 26, 2020, through February 5, 2020. The City disclosed 153 pages of emails but redacted four other emails. When […]

Ex-Wife Entitled To Portion Of Officer’s Pension Though Officer Not Yet Retired

In a 1986 decision known as Koelsch v. Koelsch, the Arizona Supreme Court defined a matured pension as an “unconditional right to immediate payment.” Under Koelsch, when an employee spouse continues working after his retirement benefits mature, then he is “liable to reimburse the non-employee spouse for the property interest in the monthly pension benefit.” […]

Firefighters Entitled To Terminal Pay On Resignation, Not Just Retirement

The retirement benefits for Waterbury firefighters in Connecticut are controlled by a combination of the collective bargaining agreement and City ordinances. One ordinance provides that participants in the pension and retirement system become vested in their benefits under the system after 10 years of service. The collective bargaining agreement provides that “upon the retirement of […]

Lieutenant Gets Access To Blogger’s Computer

Lieutenant Vincent Benvenuto is a 12-year veteran of the Hartford Police Department in Connecticut. Benvenuto became the target of anonymous commentors to a blog, known as “We The People-Hartford,” maintained and operated by Kevin Brookman. The Blog contains two sections. In the first, Brookman publishes his investigative reports derived from attending Department and City Hall […]

Accidentally Sent Text Message Not Basis For Lawsuit

Danielle Alston, a former Sergeant with the Philadelphia Police Department, sued her immediate superior, Lieutenant Brian Dougherty, and the City of Philadelphia, alleging gender-based hostile-environment because of a sexually offensive text message Dougherty sent Alston. When Alston’s claims were dismissed by a trial court, she appealed to the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The […]

When Unprotected ‘Employee Speech’ Becomes Protected ‘Citizen Speech’

Scott Specht works as a fire marshal for the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), where his primary responsibilities involved investigating the origins of fires. In that capacity, Specht investigated a fire in March 2018 that destroyed a five-story brownstone in Manhattan where a motion picture was being filmed. The fire resulted in serious damage […]

Court Upholds Arbitrator’s ‘Juneteenth’ Decision

The Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association (PSCOA) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. A provision in the contract states that “whenever the Employer declares a special holiday or part holiday for all employees under the Employer’s jurisdiction, all permanent employees who are required to work on the day on […]

NJ Supreme Court Upholds AG’s Order Requiring Disclosure Of Police Disciplinary Files

In June 2020, the Attorney General for New Jersey issued two directives. The directives called for the release of the names of law enforcement officers who commit disciplinary violations that result in the imposition of major discipline – termination, demotion, or a suspension of more than five days. The directives required that a summary of […]

No Retroactive Ban On Pension Spiking

Peter Nowicki was employed with the Moraga-Orinda Fire District in California from 1983 until 2009. Nowicki began as a paramedic-firefighter and ultimately became fire chief on July 10, 2006. The initial contract between Nowicki and the District, was for a four-year term, with an annual salary of $173,000. Under the terms of the contract, Nowicki […]

Failed Relationship Does Not Amount To Sexual Harassment

Kathryn Downey has been employed as a trooper by the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) for 16 years, reaching the rank of Lieutenant. Earl Johnson has worked for MSP for roughly the same amount of time and has been assigned as a Fitness Coordinator and Defensive Tactics Coordinator at MSP’s Police Academy for many years. In […]