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Settlement ends SEPTA police strike

PHILADELPHIA, PA &#8211 Striking transit police began returning to their SEPTA posts Friday night after reaching a tentative settlement to end their nine-day strike earlier in the evening. Details of the settlement were not immediately disclosed, but the police can expect an 11.5 percent salary increase over five years and a $1,250 bonus upon ratification, based on the pattern contract approved by other SEPTA unions. The sticking point in…

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‘It’s Amazing What You Can Do Without Attorneys’

CLAREMONT, CA &#8211 After months of rancor, lawsuits and even some threats, the City Council and the Claremont Police Officers Association have reached a tentative agreement on a 3-year labor contract. The council is due to vote on the contract at its April 10 meeting, city officials said. The CPOA will present the agreement to its members on Monday. The negotiations have gone on for months as both sides…

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Chief’s public opinions on fire station staffing contradicted in private

DENTON, TX &#8211 Denton Firefighters Association members had what amounted to a captive audience Tuesday night at a candidate’s forum, and they used the opportunity to inform City Council and mayoral candidates about standards of staffing recommended by the Federal Fire Protection Association that are not supported by their own chief. Battalion Chief Ken Gold used a Power Point presentation to show the eight candidates for two at-large positions…

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Judge halts plan to privatize court bailiffs

MILWAUKEE COUNTY, WI &#8211 Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.’s plan to privatize courtroom bailiffs won’t fly – at least not for now. Judge Dominic D’Amato ruled that Clarke could not place private security guards in courtrooms, a move the sheriff had already started by issuing a $1.4 million contract with G4S Secure Solutions. The firm, formerly known as Wackenhut, is an international company that provides personnel and…

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For some employers, Facebook inspection is non-negotiable

ROSWELL, GA &#8211 As federal lawmakers suggest that companies might be breaking the law by requiring potential employees to open up their social media websites, one Atlanta-area police department said that’s been their policy for quite some time. They said it is essential to their hiring process. “I think if you’re not going to relinquish your page, then they’re not even going to consider you a candidate,” said Lisa…

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More Tickets = More Pizza = Controversy

Connecticut’s state police union is angry over a memo, obtained by News 8, that encourages troopers in the Bethany barracks going on a ticketing spree Friday to beat other barracks and win pizza. The email, from Lt. Anthony Schirillo, challenges troopers to write 350 tickets or more during a 24 hour window starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday. The shift with the most tickets gets pizza, another message said. Read…

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Scott Walker gets support of Milwaukee police and firefighter unions

Madison &#8211 Two unions that were largely spared from Gov. Scott Walker’s curbs on collective bargaining endorsed him Monday. Walker is facing a recall this summer because of his successful plan to all but eliminate collective bargaining for most public workers. Walker’s plan mostly left alone police officers and firefighters, and the unions representing Milwaukee cops and Milwaukee firefighters renewed their support for him Monday. The two were some…

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Albuquerque police union executives step down

ALBUQUERQUE, NM &#8211 The president and vice president of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association resigned Tuesday in the wake of New Mexico activists calling for a federal probe into recent city police shootings. President Joey Sigala and Vice President Felipe Garcia stepped down after a union board meeting. A union representative said Sigala and Garcia both requested to be reassigned within the association and the board will hold an…

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Dispute In LAFD Heats Up

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s staff is working behind- the-scenes in an effort to silence public criticism of the Los Angeles Fire Department, the head of the firefighters’ union told the City Council today. United Fire Fighters of Los Angeles City President Pat McOsker, an outspoken critic of the department’s eight-month-old deployment plan, told the council that a member of the mayor’s staff called him over the weekend asking him to…

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Can A Past Practice Change A Contract?

A topic that finds the opinion of arbitrators fractured is whether a past practice can change the clear terms of a contract. The most often cited reference works on past practice are a 1961 law review article by Arbitrator Richard Mittenthal, and the basic treatise on labor arbitration, How Arbitration Works by Frank and Edna Elkouri. Mittenthal’s article, titled “Past Practice and the Administration of Collective Bargaining Agreements,” suggested…

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Phoenix police union rejects offer to restore half of pay cut

PHOENIX, AZ &#8211 The union representing rank-and-file police on Wednesday rejected the city’s two-year labor-contract offer that would restore half of the pay cuts city workers took two years ago. The police union wants full pay restored. After months of negotiations, City Manager David Cavazos has gotten six of the city’s seven labor unions and associations, representing about 15,000 city employees, to tentatively sign on for a 1.6 percent…

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Morale Issue Surfaces In Boston PD

BOSTON, MA &#8211 The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association has voted unanimously to picket Police Commissioner Edward Davis’ state-of-the-force speech this week, according to the Boston Herald. It is the first public sign of disharmony between Davis and his rank-and-file officers, and the commissioner’s speech was subsequently put on hold, although BPD spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll denied the union vote factored into that decision, instead citing “scheduling conflicts” and “logistics,” according…

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Background checks of Facebook Getting Greater Scrutiny

Under national scrutiny, and criticism, this past week has been the practice of employers requiring access to a job applicant’s Facebook account during the job recruitment phase. Not only have Facebook executives entered the discussion, so have members of the United States Senate, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Senators have called upon the above agencies to investigate the constitutionality of…

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Officer Fired For Tweets

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL &#8211 A police officer who used the Twitter social media network while on duty to make offensive comments about citizens and to criticize his supervisors has been fired. “Police officers are not substitute parents. If you were not ready for the responsibility of being a parent u should’ve used protection,” Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Luis Pagan tweeted on Oct. 5, 2011. “So deal with your own…

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Providence Police IA Investigating Planking Incidents

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence police have launched an internal investigation after photos of two women planking on a city police van surfaced. Planking is when someone lies on their stomach with their arms and legs stretched out. It broke out as an online trend last spring. A viewer sent the photos of the two women planking to Eyewitness News. “The incident took place several months ago. The officers…

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Ohio Troopers In Dispute Over Sleeve Length On Shirts

State troopers are hot and bothered because their boss spurned a request to stay cool in these record-high temperatures. Col. John Born, superintendent of the State Highway Patrol, informed the troopers’ union yesterday that he would let troopers wear short-sleeve shirts earlier than normal this year only if he can decide in future years when to make the switch from long sleeves. The union decided to keep sweating for…

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Sanford Names Interim Police Chief Amid Trayvon Martin Case

SANFORD, FL &#8211 Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte announced his choice of who will serve as the city’s interim police chief amid the Trayvon Martin investigation. Capt. Darren Scott will take that position. He spoke briefly to reporters, but would not comment directly about the case. Last week, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee announced he would step aside during the investigation into the unarmed 17-year-old’s shooting death. A volunteer…

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Baton Rouge police chief takes aim at union

BATON ROUGE, LA &#8211 Police Chief Dewayne White took aim at the Baton Rouge Union of Police Local 237 Wednesday, saying it is his biggest obstacle to making systematic changes to the Police Department. The chief told those attending the Baton Rouge Rotary Club’s weekly luncheon that he spends too much of his time dealing with “pointless” grievances, many of which are about personnel issues, such as job transfers….

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Baltimore Fire Chief Wants Firefighters To Work 14 More Hours Per Week; Union Cool To Idea

BALTIMORE, MD &#8211 Baltimore Fire Chief James Clack floated a plan Thursday to reduce the ranks by 25 percent and extend firefighters’ workweeks by 14 hours, which he says could save the city $10 million annually. Clack said that shifts for city firefighters, the lowest-paid in the state, would be extended from 42 hours a week to 56 hours, boosting their net pay 20 percent. While he said his…

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Anonymous Blog Details Effects Of Budget Cuts On LAFD

LOS ANGELES, CA &#8211 Although Firegate just erupted in the public square this week, local firefighters have been watching the downward spiral of their Los Angeles City Fire Department with every whack to its budget. An anonymous blog calledLAFDDeployment.com was created in summer 2011. It encouraged firefighters to… … “anonymously share your stories on the deployment plan. Let us know impacts on public safety and your safety.” Brian Humphrey…

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Indiana police fear state’s new ‘right to resist’ law

Gov. Mitch Daniels is warning Hoosiers that a new Indiana law meant to protect citizens from an illegal intrusion by police is no green light to resist law enforcement. Police, though, fear it will lead to just that. The law, passed by lawmakers who were outraged by a controversial Indiana Supreme Court decision, allows people to resist police, including with deadly force, but only if police are acting illegally….

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Trooper applicants must share websites

Anyone seeking to become a Virginia state trooper must make available the contents of his or her social media accounts — including private profiles — as part of the department’s extensive background-screening process. Applicants are not required to provide usernames or passwords, but they must log in to their social networking sites and allow a state police background investigator to review the contents. “They are required to provide a…

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Saying Process Is Now Tainted, FOP Asks To Become Part Of New Orleans PD Consent Decree Negotiations

NEW ORLEANS, LA &#8211 The local Fraternal Order of Police lodge is lobbying Mayor Mitch Landrieu for an increased role in ongoing police consent decree negotiations, pointing to caustic comments made by a high-ranking member of U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s staff as evidence of the need for the police group’s inclusion in the process. In a letter sent to the mayor yesterday, the group argues that the recent controversy…

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Dispute Over Retirement Changes In San Jose Police, Fire Heads To Court

SAN JOSE, CA &#8211 Attorneys for the San Jose Police Officers’ Association on Monday elaborated on two lawsuits they filed against the city of San Jose — one that seeks to force the city back to the bargaining table and another that alleges the city violated the union’s contract by trying to change retirement benefits through an election rather than arbitration. Filed late Friday in Santa Clara County Superior…

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Philadelphia police won’t arrest retiree who wore uniform at occupy protest

Ray Lewis, the retired Philadelphia police captain who became a hero to the Occupy Wall Street movement, will not face legal consequences for wearing his old uniform at protests, a Police Department spokesman said Monday. “He will not be arrested,” said Lt. Raymond Evers, spokesman for Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. “He’s exercising his First Amendment rights, and we’re fine with that,” Evers said. That position is in stark…

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