Cleveland Police Union Rejects Contract, Will Be Settled In Arbitration

CLEVELAND, OH — The Cleveland police union on Monday rejected a three-year contract negotiated with the city that would have given the 1,200 rank-and-file officers raises after the first year.

The city and union will now go to arbitration to determine the terms of the contract, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis said in an interview Tuesday morning.

The city could ask to renegotiate, but have told the union they prefer to go to arbitration, Loomis said.

Only 634 members voted– 380 against the contract and 254 to approve it, Loomis said.

Union members cast their votes in secret, so Loomis said that he has no idea which part of the contract proposal union members rejected.

The contract became a sticking point in the recent union election that ousted current Loomis in favor of former union president Jeff Follmer, who takes over at the beginning of 2018.

Follmer campaigned against the contract, believing the union should have a better deal as far as pay and other issues.

The union’s contract expired in March 2016. Negotiations were delayed while the city prepared for the Republican National Convention. The contract would be retroactive from April 2016 when enacted.

The rejected contract would have given officers no raises the first year and 2-percent raises the next two years. Officers who have been with the department a decade or longer would receive a $3,000 increase in base pay in April 2018 and officers with less service would get an $1,800 increase.

The contract would have also changed procedures involving officer discipline as it relates to consideration for promotions or transfers to other units, including some that would counter to reforms mandated by the federal consent decree.

It would have also given the police chief sole discretion on which detectives were placed in the homicide unit.


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