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Arbitrator Orders Oklahoma City Police To Maintain Minimum Shift Staffing

The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between Lodge 123 of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the City of Oklahoma City contains both a management rights and a maintenance of benefits clause. The management rights clause reserves to the City “the right to plan, direct, and control all operations relating to the Police Department . . . subject to the provisions of this contract.” The maintenance of benefits clause…

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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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Major Fire Department Staffing Decision From Washington’s Labor Commission

The usual rule of thumb is that firefighter staffing per apparatus – e.g., the number of firefighters per engine – is a mandatory subject for collective bargaining. However, most labor boards conclude that the number of firefighters per shift, or per service population, are not mandatorily negotiable issues. Washington’s Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) recently issued a lengthy opinion concluding that if the evidence is sufficient, staffing per shift…

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Firefighter Staffing, Budget Distress, and a $100k Contempt Finding

The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the City of East Cleveland has always required a set number of firefighter staffing assignments. In 2006, the agreement required the City to staff 14 firefighters per shift, with the full-time, IAFF firefighters subject to recall on overtime to maintain the minimum staffing requirement. The City, citing fiscal concerns, began using part-time, non-IAFF firefighters to…

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Firefighters, Staffing, And Bargaining

While workplace safety is generally a mandatory subject for collective bargaining, labor boards have struggled to deal with whether staffing issues – which may have an impact on safety – are themselves negotiable. Most labor boards have found that peace officer staffing issues are not negotiable, and that where firefighter staffing measured per piece of equipment is bargainable, broader firefighter staffing issues (firefighters per shift, or per population) are…

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Firefighter Shift Staffing Levels Negotiable

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Allentown, Pennsylvania and Local 302 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) contained a provision setting a minimum on-duty shift strength of no less than 26 firefighters as of January 1, 2005; no less than 27 firefighters as of January 1, 2006; and no less than 28 firefighters as of January 1, 2007. In May 2011, the parties began to…

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Sheriff Seeking More Deputy Positions Loses Lawsuit Against County

In his 2015 requested budget, Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin asked the County for funding for an additional 119 deputy sheriff positions and an additional 58 correction officer positions. The County’s 2015 budget only authorized an additional 17 deputy sheriff positions. In response, the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs Association and Clarke jointly filed a complaint against the County seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and a writ of mandamus….

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Firefighter Staffing: What’s Negotiable?

The City of Allentown, Pennsylvania and the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 302 were parties to a collective bargaining agreement set to expire in December 2011. The CBA provided that the City Fire Department was required to have 140 sworn personnel with an on-duty shift strength of no less than 28 firefighters. When negotiations failed to produce a new agreement, the City and Local 302 proceeded to arbitration….

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Court Upholds Arbitration Panel’s Decision On Fire Staffing

The City of New Britain, Connecticut and the New Britain Firefighters Association, Local 922 of the IAFF are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. Section 5.4 of the CBA contains a minimum staffing clause. Believing the City had violated the clause, Local 922 submitted a grievance to arbitration. At the outset of the arbitration hearing, the City and Local 922 agreed to a broad “statement of the issue,” which…

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Changes In Staffing Rule Subject To Arbitration

Beginning in 1999, the Chief of Police of the Village of Horseheads, New York issued a series of general orders setting forth various rules and regulations relative to departmental operating procedures and policies. The rules included General Order A–13.1, which required that a minimum of two officers be assigned to patrol duty for each shift. In 2011, a new chief reissued General Order A–13.1, reducing the minimum staffing requirement…

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Remedy For Firefighter Staffing Violation Not Payment Of Lump-Sum Overtime

The contract between the City of Ecorse, Michigan and the Ecorse Fire Fighters Union has a minimum staffing provision calling for five firefighters per shift. When the City began facing economic difficulties, it began disregarding the minimum staffing rules. The Union filed a grievance, seeking a remedy of a lump-sum overtime payment to divide among its members. The Union argued that the $90,000 to $100,000 payment it was seeking…

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Time To File Unfair Labor Practice Is Triggered By Implementation Of Change In Working Conditions, Not Notice Of Change

Most state collective bargaining laws have a relatively quick statute of limitations on the filing of an unfair labor practice. A recent Oregon case dealt with the question of whether the statute of limitations is triggered by an employer's notice that it intends to make a change in working conditions, or rather by the implementation of the decision itself. The case involved Washington County and the Washington County Police…

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City Not Allowed To Change Days Off For Vice Unit

Since 2004, police officers assigned to the City of Columbus, Ohio Division of Police Vice Unit have worked a schedule with Thursday and Friday off. When a deputy chief learned of the schedule in 2008, he ordered that the Unit be returned to its previous schedule, which had Tuesday and Wednesday off. The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), representing officers in the Division, challenged the order in arbitration. An…

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Grievance Procedure Must Be Exhausted Prior To Bringing Lawsuit

A memorandum of agreement between the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association and the City of Buffalo, New York provides that “in the event the minimum for a rank position falls below the stated minimum, the vacancy shall be filled within 45 days of the created vacancy.” When the Association attempted to enforce the staffing agreement through a lawsuit, the City challenged the Association’s failure to exhaust the grievance procedure in…

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‘Shall’ Removes Employer Discretion

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Providence, Rhode Island and Local 799 of the International Association of Fire Fighters allows firefighters to use a number of personal leave days each year. The operative clause in the collective bargaining agreement begins that such leave “shall be granted for the following defined reasons…” The City was encountering difficulty scheduling leave on June 17, 2007, which was Father’s Day. The…

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Change In Training Schedule Cannot Adversely Impact Leave

When the City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania Police Department changed the times for its annual in-service training in 2007, the change was challenged in arbitration by the Lancaster Police Officers Association. An arbitrator upheld a portion of the Association’s grievance. The Arbitrator began by generally acceding to the City’s argument that the Police Chief had the right to schedule training. The Arbitrator commented that “the Chief simply used his contractually…

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Decision To Lay Off Firefighters Not Subject To Bargaining

As of the end of 2004, the City of Richmond, California had seven fire stations. There was a fire engine at each of the stations and a fire truck at two of the stations, although one of the trucks was not regularly staffed. If a second truck company was needed, the engine at one of the stations would be taken out of service and the engine’s crew would then…

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