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. States, on the other hand, have no ability to seek bankruptcy protection under Chapter…

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One Occasion Does Not A Past Practice Make

Local 1404 of the IAFF represents firefighters working for the City of Norwich, New York. Prior to the 2003-2004 collective bargaining agreement between Local 1404 and the City, retirees did not contribute towards their receipt of retiree health insurance benefits. In the 2003-2004 collective bargaining agreement, Local 1404 and the City agreed that retirees would pay percentage contributions toward health insurance. Two firefighters who retired in 2013 were on…

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Lengthy Placement On Administrative Leave Violates Past Practice

On December 2, 2015, five officers with the San Francisco Police Department were involved in an officer-involved shooting (OIS) in which a young man, Mario Woods, was killed. This shooting occurred in the midst of a period of intense scrutiny and became highly publicized as well as the subject of interest from the news media, social media, various communities, and the family and friends of Woods. The Department transferred…

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Past Practice Must Be Consistent

A recent decision from an administrative law judge for New York’s Public Employment Relations Board illustrates one of the central tenets of labor law: to be binding, a practice that has occurred in the past must be consistent. The case involved the Blooming Grove Police Benevolent Association (PBA), which filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the Town of Blooming Grove alleging that the Town violated its obligation to…

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No More Free Tolls For New Jersey State Troopers

For many years, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority – independent authorities that operate the State’s major toll roads – allowed State Troopers to travel over those roads in their personal vehicles without paying tolls. As a result, troopers were able to commute to and from work without incurring that expense. Nothing in the State’s collective bargaining agreement with the State Troopers Fraternal Association…

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Arbitrator, Not Court, Should Define ‘Grandparents’

Deputy Angela Molea submitted a request to her employer, the Summit County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio, to use bereavement leave to attend the funeral of her husband’s grandfather. The collective bargaining agreement between the County and Molea’s labor organization, the Fraternal Order of Police, permitted the use of bereavement leave for “grandparents.” Although similar requests had been granted in the past, the Sheriff denied Molea’s request, citing the execution…

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