Start

March 6, 2024, 9:00 am

End

March 8, 2024, 11:30 am

Location

Harrah's Hotel
New Orleans Louisiana

Download the seminar brochure.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2024

9:00 Introduction And Recent Developments In Public Safety Labor Issues

Recent developments from around the country in the area of public safety labor relations, including:

  • A review of wage and benefit settlements over the last six months in public safety agencies.
  • Changing public opinions on crime and policing, and the impact on public safety bargaining.
  • Public safety recruiting and retention challenges and the impact on compensation.
  • Privacy rights of public safety employees related to social media, cell phones, flash drives, GPS trackers, and other electronic equipment.
  • Recent legal developments in the area of public employee free speech.
  • The use of artificial intelligence by public safety agencies, and the impact on employee rights.

Will Aitchison, Attorney at Law, Public Safety Labor Group, LLP; Founder, LRIS.

11:00 What Is Negotiable And Why

  • What are the sorts of wages, hours, and working conditions that are mandatory for bargaining?
  • The difference between bargaining over an employer’s decision and bargaining over the impacts of the decision.
  • Hot negotiation issues: including equipment such as GPS systems and body cameras, workplace safety, staffing, communicable disease policies, health care, work schedules, etc.

Will Aitchison.

12:00 Lunch (Included in registration)

1:00 Past Practice, Management Rights, And Maintaining The Status Quo

  • How something becomes a “past practice,” and the significance of a past practice.
  • How the obligation to bargain over mandatory subjects of bargaining can limit an employer’s ability to make changes in past practices.
  • The process by which mid-term bargaining occurs and is resolved.
  • Management rights and maintenance of benefits clauses: how do they work and how are they related?

Will Aitchison.

3:00 Bargaining In Today’s Economic Environment: Trends And Basic Principles

  • A review of national economic projections, including projections for the Consumer Price Index and other national indices that impact an employer’s ability to pay.
  • Current projections for increases in medical costs.
  • The different strategies taken by public safety employers and unions in bargaining in difficult times.

Will Aitchison.

4:00 Adjournment

4:15 Hosted Reception

THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2024

9:00 The Nuts & Bolts Of Bargaining, Bargaining Strategies, And Media Relations

A thorough discussion of the mechanics of collective bargaining.

  • Preparing and maintaining a bargaining strategy.
  • Keeping a contract notebook.
  • Preparing for the meet-and-confer process.
  • The composition of the bargaining team and the roles played by different bargaining team members.
  • Selecting comparable jurisdictions and total compensation analysis, including cost of living, workload and productivity, local labor markets, cross-classification analysis, and other topics which are raised in an assessment of wages and benefits.
  • How one goes about proving bargaining history.
  • The significance of a tentative agreement.
  • The different types of bargaining concessions that are occurring, including furloughs, retirement adjustments, wage freezes and reductions, and health insurance changes.
  • Non-economic benefits in exchange for economic concessions. Is the traditional structure still in place?
  • Dealing with constituencies – union members and elected officials – during difficult economic times.
  • The increased focus on politics and media relations, and the implications of getting the public involved in the bargaining discussion.

Jonathan Downes, Attorney at Law, Zashin & Rich.
Richard Poulson, Attorney at Law, Willig, Williams & Davidson;
Executive Director, LRIS.

12:00 Lunch (Included in registration)

1:00 The Nuts & Bolts Of Bargaining (continued)

4:00   Adjournment

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2023

8:30 When You Can’t Get a Deal; What You Need to Know About Interest Arbitration

  • What is Interest Arbitration and/or Factfinding?
  • How does the process work?
  • How do arbitrators make their decisions?
  • How do I prepare for Arbitration/Factfinding?
  • Strategies you need to know for Interest Arbitration/Factfinding.

Dave Gaba, Attorney at Law, Compass Law Group.

11:30 Adjournment

Will Aitchison

Will Aitchison

Attorney at Law, Public Safety Labor Group and Founder, LRIS.

Will Aitchison

Mr. Aitchison is a founding member of the Public Safety Labor Group. Over the course of his legal career, Will has represented over 100 law enforcement labor organizations in five western states. He is a veteran of hundreds of public sector labor negotiations. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. and is the author of several books on public sector labor matters, including The Rights of Law Enforcement Officers (8th Edition), and The FLSA, A User's Manual. Will is also the founder and director of Labor Relations Information System.

Jonathan Downes

Attorney at Law, Zashin & Rich

Jonathan Downes

Mr. Downes is an Ohio attorney with Zashin & Rich, a firm exclusively representing employers in the identification and resolution of legal issues arising from all aspects of the employer/employee relationship. He received his law degree from Case Western Reserve University and is certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Labor and Employment Law. Mr. Downes has extensive experience at collective bargaining, arbitration, litigation, administrative matters, civil rights, and civil service law. He served on the Civil Service Review Commission for the State of Ohio. He is the recent co-author of Interest Arbitration (3rd Edition).
Dave Gaba

Dave Gaba

Arbitrator, Compass Law Group

Dave Gaba

Mr. Gaba has been a labor arbitrator for more than a decade and is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and received his Juris Doctorate from the College of Law in 1984 and his MBA in 1987. With 25 years of labor and employment law experience, he has represented both labor and management. He is currently a partner at Compass Law Group, where he practices securities law when he is not hearing labor arbitrations. He is the recent co-author of Interest Arbitration (3rd Edition).

Richard G. Poulson

Attorney at Law, Willig, Williams & Davidson.

Richard G. Poulson

Mr. Poulson has been representing labor unions for his entire career, representing union clients in collective bargaining, interest and grievance arbitration and employment-related litigation. He is a partner with the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania firm of Willig, Williams & Davidson, where he focuses on advising and representing police, fire, paramedic and other uniformed employees regarding municipal affairs and public employment. He earned his B.A. from La Salle University (1992) and his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law (1997).

The Harrah’s New Orleans
228 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Guest room rates at Harrah’s are $189 per night, single or double occupancy, plus a resort fee and tax Tuesday through Thursday nights. The rate is $239 plus the resort fee and tax on Friday and Saturday nights. Register online at the hotel’s website or call the hotel directly for room reservations and inform them that you are attending this Labor Relations Information System seminar at 800-427-7247, Group Code: S03COL4. There is a $15 charge for reservations made over the phone.

A very limited number of rooms are available at these rates on Friday and Saturday nights, so reserve early if you plan to stay over. Reservations must be made by February 3, 2024. Reservations made after this date are subject to space availability and at prevailing rates.

Registration fees are $900 per person; $750 per person if three or more attend from the same organization. 

Reservations may be canceled up to ten days prior to the seminar with a full refund. Cancellations made within ten days are subject to a $150 fee. Substitutions may be made at any time.

Registration fees include attendance, lunch on the first two days of the seminar, all seminar materials, and a hospitality reception on the first evening.

Each attendee will receive a copy of Public Sector Collective Bargaining by Will Aitchison.

Seminar handouts will be available for download one week prior to the seminar. If you supplied an email address at the time of registering for the seminar, you will receive an email with reminders and a link to the handouts. If you did not supply an email address, contact LRIS at Claire@LRIS.com to add your email to your registration information.

Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) credits may be available on a state-by-state basis. If you would like information on your state, please contact Seminar Coordinator Claire Cowan at (503) 282-5440 or Claire@LRIS.com 30 days prior to the seminar.

LRIS has been approved as a CLE provider by the State Bar of California. This program will qualify for 12.5 hours of MCLE credit by the State Bar of California. If you require certification from any other state, please contact Seminar Coordinator Claire Cowan at (503) 282-5440 or Claire@LRIS.com 30 days prior to the seminar.

We do not have a dress code, but suggest attendees wear business casual clothing.

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Topics Covered:
  • Traditional barriers to wellness programs
  • The costs to employers of inadequate wellness, including liability claims, workers’ compensation claims, and general job performance
  • The different kinds of wellness: psychological, physical, family, financial, and holistic
  • Starting a program – what online and other resources are available?
  • Should participation be mandatory?
  • The need for confidentiality of wellness programs
  • Integrating training and education with wellness and finding time in the workday for wellness
  • The roles of the Department psychologist/counselor/chaplain and peer leaders/fitness trainers. What kinds of personalities are you looking for as part of the wellness team?
  • Mindfulness in the public safety workplace
  • Including civilian employees in the program
  • Metrics for success of a wellness program
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Topics Included:
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  • Crisis Management Model- Pre Crisis, Crisis, Post Crisis Interventions
  • Focus on how we provide various services from hire to retire and beyond
  • Our approach to attacking stigma of mental health and some of our direct interventions
  • MNPD Wellness Program which covers 5 types of wellness checks offered to our department
  • Core value of building Healthy, Trusting Relationships with officers and families from Day 1
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Grievances And Arbitration Webinar Series

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Topics Covered:
  • A discussion of sample grievance procedure language.
  • A discussion of what is “grievable” and what is not.
  • The detail necessary on a grievance.
  • Time limits in a grievance procedure.
  • The advisability of grievance meetings rather than written processing.
  • Selecting arbitrators.
  • The basics of how an arbitration hearing is conducted.
  • The finality of arbitration decisions.
  • The relationship between grievance procedures, unfair labor practices, and lawsuits in court.
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Topics Covered:
  • The two ways that a past practice is important: In interpreting a collective bargaining agreement, and in limiting an employer’s ability to make changes in rules and operations.
  • The continuing nature of the duty to bargain and how past practices can require mid-contract negotiations.
  • The topics that are mandatory for bargaining, including hours of work issues, disciplinary standards and proceedings, “civilianization,” staffing, residency, and more.
  • The elements that make a past practice binding, and the steps an employer must follow to make changes in past practices.
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Topics Covered:
  • When an arbitrator will look beyond the language of the contract to determine the meaning of the contract.
  • The types of evidence considered in interpreting contracts, including bargaining history, past practice, and evidence of practices under other contracts.
  • From an arbitrator’s perspective, the factors that make a past practice binding.
  • The “interpretation aids” arbitrators use in interpreting and applying contract language.
  • How arbitrators decide who has the burden of proof, and how much proof is necessary?
  • The rules of evidence in arbitration, including issues of hearsay and relevance.
  • The decision-making process – what’s convincing and what is not?
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Topics Covered:
  • The negotiability of social media rules.
  • The First Amendment, labor law principles, and off-duty social media use.
  • The types of social media speech likely to be protected and unprotected, and why.
  • How arbitrators consider social media questions.
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Topics Covered:
  • Detailed checklists that will help you prepare for filing and processing grievances and for arbitration hearings.
  • What happens when a grievance is also a ULP?
  • Framing the issue in disciplinary and “contract interpretation” grievances.
  • The different tests for just cause for discipline, and how they apply in arbitration.
  • Commonly occurring disciplinary issues, including the use of personnel files, investigatory files, and witnesses.
  • What is an “information request,” and why must both sides comply with one?
  • The relevance of bargaining history and prior arbitration awards.
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The Rights of Law Enforcement Webinar Series

Select a webinar session to purchase the recording or learn more. Buy each session for $39 or purchase the entire series for $195. Purchasing the entire series gives you a digital copy of The Rights of Law Enforcement Officers, 8th Edition.

Topics Covered:
  • How a single employment issue can involve federal, state, and local law.
  • Where collective bargaining and bills of rights exist, and the current attacks on both.
  • How the politics of different court systems can lead to a different choice in courts.
  • How issues like drug testing, overtime, sick leave use, internal affairs investigations, and qualified immunity can involve different sources of rights.
  • The basic rule – in cases of conflict between federal, state, and local law, which prevails and under what circumstances?
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Topics Covered:
  • How the right to privacy impacts a variety of issues in the law enforcement workplace.
  • The right to privacy and personal relationships, and memberships in groups.
  • How residency rules, sick leave policies, and fitness-for-duty evaluations can impact privacy rights.
  • Drug testing and the right to privacy. Medical privacy, HIPAA, the ADA, and state laws.
  • COVID-19 protocols and privacy rights.
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Topics Covered:
  • The Garrity and Miranda rules in internal affairs investigations, critical incidents, and day-to-day interactions between management and labor.
  • When is a statement considered “compelled” for Garrity purposes?
  • What does it mean that a compelled statement cannot be “used” against an employee?
  • Is an employee in “custody” for Miranda purposes when ordered not to leave the workplace?
  • How Garrity and Miranda interact, and how the Garrity and Lybarger rules relate to each other.
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Topics Covered:
  • The right to representation under the Weingarten rule.
  • Do witnesses have the right to representation in internal affairs interviews?
  • What exactly can the union representative say and do when representing a member?
  • The consequences of a Weingarten violation on discipline.
  • Can a union conduct a concurrent investigation while an internal affairs investigation is ongoing?
  • The validity of “no contact” orders in the Internal Affairs process.
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Topics Covered:
  • How the right to privacy impacts a variety of issues in the law enforcement workplace.
  • The right to privacy and personal relationships, and memberships in groups.
  • How residency rules, sick leave policies, and fitness-for-duty evaluations can impact privacy rights.
  • Drug testing and the right to privacy.
  • Medical privacy, HIPAA, the ADA, and state laws.
  • COVID-19 protocols and privacy rights.
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Topics Covered:
  • What is happening with the FLSA? A review of FLSA litigation involving numerous law enforcement agencies.
  • How the FLSA demands the overtime rate be calculated, including the treatment of premium pay, specialty pay, incentive pay, and shift differential.
  • What are “hours worked” that must be compensated under the FLSA, and how the FLSA’s unique comp time system works.
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