Collective Bargaining For Public Safety Employees 2022

March 16-18, 2022




    Wednesday, March 16, 2022

    9:00 Introduction And Recent Developments In Law Enforcement 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.
    • Police reform legislation, and how it can impact all public safety employees.
    • The new world of social media discipline.
    • Phones, flash drives, GPS trackers, and other electronic equipment.
    • How the privacy rights of employees depend upon the circumstances.

    Will Aitchison, Attorney at Law, Public Safety Labor Group, LLP; Executive Director, 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 17, 2022

    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.

    12:00 Lunch (Included in registration)

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

    4:00 Adjournment

    Friday, March 22, 2021

    8:30 How Arbitrators Analyze Ability To Pay Issues

    • The various factors taken into account by an arbitrator in assessing an employer’s ability to pay.
    • • How things such as available revenue sources, taxing limits, involvement of the union in the budgeting process, public safety budget priorities, and contingency funds play a part in an arbitrator’s decision on the ability to pay.
    • • A discussion of whether a finding of inability to pay ends an arbitrator’s analysis, or is one of many factors considered by an arbitrator in awarding wage and benefit adjustments.

    Dave Gaba, Attorney at Law, Compass Law Group.

    11:30 Adjournment


    Hotel Information

    To make arrangements, visit the Flamingo website (you can make reservations for either hotel here) or call the hotel directly and request the group rate for this seminar. Call (888) 373-9855 with group code SFCOL2.Reservations must be made by February 12, 2022. Reservations received after this date will be on a space-available basis only and at the prevailing rate.

    The Flamingo
    3555 Las Vegas Blvd. South
    Las Vegas, NV 89109
    Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $59 per night, plus taxes and fees. A limited number of rooms are available on Friday and Saturday night for $149, so book early if you plan to stay over the weekend.

    The LINQ
    3535 Las Vegas Blvd. South
    Las Vegas, NV 89109
    Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $49 per night, plus taxes and fees. A limited number of rooms are available on Friday and Saturday night for $129, so book early if you plan to stay over the weekend.


    Will Aitchison
    Mr. Aitchison is a Portland, Oregon attorney who has represented over 100 law enforcement and firefighter 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 (7th Edition), and The Rights of Firefighters (4th Edition).

    Jonathan Downes
    Jonathan Downes has over 30 years of experience in practicing labor and employment law in Ohio and has successfully negotiated over 500 labor agreements and has presented over 100 impasse proceedings and 100 arbitrations. He represents cities, townships, counties, school districts, and public officials throughout the State of Ohio. Jonathan also represents private employers in employment matters. He has argued cases before the Ohio Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

    Dave Gaba
    David Gaba has been a labor arbitrator in the Western United States more than a decade; he is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, and has issued over 300 awards including numerous interest arbitration awards. Mr. Gaba is a graduate of the University of Nebraska, receiving his J.D. from the College of Law in 1984 and his M.B.A. in 1987. With 25 years of labor and employment law experience, Mr. Gaba has represented both labor and management.

    Richard Poulson

    Richard Poulson
    Richard G. 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). 


    Registration fees are $795 per person; $695 per person if three or more attend from the same organization. Registration fees include attendance, lunch on the first two days of the seminar, all seminar materials, and a hospitality reception on the first evening.

    Cancellation Policy
    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.

    Seminar Materials
    Each attendee will receive a copy of Public Sector Collective Bargaining, by Will Aitchison, and a handbook containing extensive written materials pertaining to each of the subjects addressed.

    P.O.S.T. Certification
    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 prior to the seminar.

    CLE Certification
    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
    prior to the seminar.

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