City Must Bargain Placement Of Surveillance Devices In Non-Public Areas Of Fire Department

The City of Sharonville, Ohio and Local 4498 of the IAFF are parties to a collective bargaining agreement cov­ering members of the Sharonville Fire Department. On December 30, 2020, Local 4498 filed an unfair labor practice charge alleging the City violated Ohio’s collective bargaining law by failing to maintain the status quo. The issue arose after the City installed video/audio surveillance cameras in the following areas of the fire…

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New Disciplinary Matrix And Procedures Are Negotiable

For many years, FOP Lodge 12 has represented officers working for the Newark, New Jersey Police Department. The Newark Police Superior Officers’ Association (SOA) represents supervisors in the Department. When the City unilaterally implemented a disciplinary matrix, the FOP and the SOA filed unfair labor practice complaints with New Jersey’s Public Employment Relations Commission. PERC agreed with the unions and found the unilateral adoption of the matrix to be…

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Porta-Potty Retaliation

The Shelton Police Union and the City of Shelton, Connecticut are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. On March 10, 2020, Governor Ned Lamont proclaimed a COVID-19 state of emergency. Six days later, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 7D, which stated, in relevant part, “effective at 8 p.m. any indoor gym, fitness center, or similar facility shall cease all operations.” On April 10, 2020, Lieutenant Brian Yerzak placed…

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Union Can Demand Mid-Term Bargaining On Topic Not Covered By Contract

While its collective bargaining agreement was in effect, the Multnomah County Corrections Deputy Association demanded to bargain over “mandatory safety issues.” When the County refused to negotiate, the Association filed an unfair labor practice complaint contending a breach of the obligation to bargain in good faith. The County took the position that it had no duty to engage in midterm bargaining where it had not proposed or made any…

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Continued Confusion Over Bargaining In Public

The Washington State Council of County and City Employees represents a number of employees of Spokane County. In 2018, the County’s com­missioners passed a resolution that all collective bargaining contract negoti­ations be conducted publicly and in real time, either in person or by video. When the Council began bargain­ing with the County for new contracts in 2019, a dispute quickly arose over whether the bargaining sessions would be open…

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Q & A

From Washington:Question: Can an employer mandate/require an officer to get the COVID-19 vaccine to continue working? Do you see guilds/unions challenging this and how do you see courts ruling? Answer: There’s not a lot of law on whether a mandatory vaccine requirement would be a negotiable topic. The NLRB has some cases that suggest it is negotia­ble, but there’s a case out of California’s PERB that suggests it isn’t….

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Whether Bargaining Should Be In Public Is Not Mandatory For Bargaining

Some public employers are adopting resolutions requiring collective bargaining to be conducted in public. Unions often push back on these resolutions, believing private collective bargaining to be more effective in the give-and-take process for resolving differences. Washington’s Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) recently had to address what happens when the parties are unable to agree as to whether negotiations should be in public. Teamsters Local 690 represents two bargaining…

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Bargaining Obligation Prevails Over Wage Recoupment Statute

On November 1, 2016, an audit at a county in Washington uncovered an accounting software error had caused Benton County Sheriff’s Office employees, including 85 corrections officers, to be overpaid from June 2016 through September 2016. Benton County Auditor Brenda Chilton sent Sheriff Steven Keane a memo that notified him of the error. The memo explained how the error occurred and that the County had the right under a…

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Q & A

From New Jersey:Question: As a member of the FOP executive board, my deputy chief told me he is going to change a practice that involves our detectives. Although he did not identify specifics, he wants to rotate our detectives, a practice that we (the FOP) believe he cannot do. We believe our detectives are to be promoted. The question is what would constitute notification? If he says he is…

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Employer Required To Bargain Over Many Lexipol Policies

Prior to 2018, there was no one place where employees could find all the workplace policies and procedures utilized by the Snohomish County Corrections Bureau in Washington. There were two policy manuals dating from different eras, one from 2006-2007 and one from 2009. Each contained some policies and standard operating procedures that remained in effect until 2018. The County also used a file sharing platform that contained additional policies…

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Chicago Required To Bargain Over Body Camera Implementation

When the Chicago Police Department expanded a pilot body-worn camera (BWC) policy, Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents the City’s police officers, filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) complaint with the Illinois Labor Relations Board. The ULP complaint alleged that the City failed to bargain over the expanded policy, and that the issue of bodycams was a mandatory topic for collective bargaining. The City responded…

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City Required To Bargain Over Procedures Used For Due Process Hearing

The City of Long Beach, New York and Local 287 of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. In November 2014, Local 287 member Jay Gusler reported that he was injured in the line of duty, and began what turned out to be a long-term absence from work. A year later, the City informed Gusler that the City “is evaluating whether to exercise…

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Minimum Staffing For Police Not Negotiable In Illinois

Section 9.6 of the collective bargaining agreement between the Village of Maywood and the Illinois Council of Police provide that “the Village agrees it shall maintain a force of full-time sworn police officers large enough to cover the three daily combined shifts with a minimum of five full-time sworn uniformed police officers. Sergeants shall count towards manning when assigned to street duties.” The agreement itself expired on April 30,…

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Employer Must Negotiate With Union Before Recouping Overpayments

Teamsters Local 839 represents corrections officers in Benton County, Washington. In November 2016, the Benton County Auditor’s Office discovered that an accounting software error had caused the County to overpay 85 corrections officers in the June through September 2016 pay periods. Whenever hours were entered into the accounting system under the Kelly Time Used pay code, the software error caused an improper increase in compensation. The County decided to…

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Chicago Police Department Ordered To Bargain Over Disciplinary Matrix

Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police represents officers working for the Chicago Police Department. The City investigates serious disciplinary charges through what is called a “complaint register” process. Under the process, the City’s Independent Police Review Authority reviews allegations of misconduct made against members of the Department by members of the public. The Authority retains investigative authority over some categories of alleged misconduct, but transfers investigation of…

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Bargaining Required Over Gang Affiliation Rule

Local 700 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents corrections officers, deputy sheriffs, and fugitive investigators in the Sheriff’s Office of Cook County, Illinois. In 2013, the County issued what became known as the Gang Order. The Gang Order began with the statement that “criminal organizations and street gangs pose a substantial threat to the public and directly impede the efforts of the County to provide for public safety,”…

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Transfer Of Ambulance Services To Contractor Is Negotiable

Local 963 of the International Association of Fire Fighters represents the members of the Lockport, New York Fire Department. Other than the Fire Chief, Local 963 represents all firefighters employed by the City. The firefighters are cross-trained in firefighting and emergency medical services, and prior to September 15, 2014, each firefighter was dual-assigned to both an ambulance and a fire vehicle. Since 1979, firefighters had exclusively provided EMS and…

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Denver Body-Cam Policy Negotiable

There is no statewide collective bargaining law for police in Colorado. As such, local jurisdictions bargaining with police unions – if they do so at all – act under local charter or ordinance provisions. Denver’s charter contains one of the longest-standing grants of bargaining rights. The charter is limited, however, as to what topic must be negotiated. It was against this backdrop that a trial court considered whether the…

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‘Entire Agreement’ Proposal Not Mandatory For Bargaining

On May 12, 2016, the Village of Skokie and Local 3033 of the International Association of Fire Fighters reached an impasse in bargaining. One of the key issues was the Village’s proposal to maintain the “entire agreement” clause in the contract as mandatory for collective bargaining. The Village and Local 3033 jointly filed a petition with the Illinois Labor Relations Board, seeking a ruling on whether the continuation of…

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When Must An Employer Bargain Over The ‘Effects’ Of A Management Right?

When an employer wants to make a change in past practices, there are generally three possibilities with respect to whether it must negotiate with a union: (1) The decision can involve a negotiable topic – typically, wages, hours, or working conditions – and the employer must negotiate about the decision before making it; (2) the decision can involve a non-negotiable topic, but the decision could have “effects” or impact…

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Schedule, Private Detail Changes Require Bargaining

The New England Police Benevolent Association (PBA) filed a petition with New Hampshire’s Public Employee Labor Relations Board seeking to represent employees of the Strafford County Sheriff’s Office. While the PBA’s petition was pending, the Sheriff made three changes to existing policies. First, the Sheriff changed some employees from 4-10 to 5-8 work schedules. Second, the Sheriff changed the existing practice of paying deputies at the overtime rate for…

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The Negotiability Of Workplace Cameras

It’s not a body camera decision – so far, there are no reported decisions on the negotiability of body cameras – but a recent decision from an administrative law judge (ALJ) of Washington’s Public Employment Relations Commission lays out some bargaining implications of any workplace camera policy. The case involved Snohomish Fire District 3 and Local 3315 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. The case began on January…

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