I hope everyone is well. I wanted to take a moment and respond to an email that was sent to a large number of you by another member. I know the AHOD settlement continues to be a much discussed topic; it is necessary however to respond to an email that was sent out before putting this to bed and moving on toward contract negotiations.
The AHOD settlement was described as being “devastating to the members” but it is only in the opinion of the author that it “has given MPD the ability to violate our scheduling rights with little recourse.” The AHOD settlement does not take away from any of the scheduling rights and protections that are outlined in the Contract. This is a largely self-serving statement mischaracterizing the settlement agreement.
The author of the email has also blamed me for the loss of the 2012 and 2013 AHOD arbitration decision. I would like everyone to know, yes these decisions did come in while I was the Chairman of the Union, but these cases were both argued and heard before I became the Chairman. It just happened to be that I was in the seat when the decisions were announced. The author also falsely stated that I gave up our appeal rights in the beginning, but after discussion with legal counsel we decided to advance the 2012 AHOD arbitration decision to the PERB on appeal. In the same manner, the author of the email is correct, after discussion with legal counsel it was decided that we not advance the 2013 arbitration decision. I do take quite a bit of exception with the authors opinion on this matter, especially since the author should have been fully aware when these two cases were litigated, and self-servingly blaming me for the outcome.
The author of the email also makes the claim that members are entitled to liquidated damages (penalty pay) for the violations of the member’s rights. While I know this has been the Union’s position since the beginning, the fact of the matter is Arbitrator Truesdale did not mention liquidated damages at all - he was silent on the matter. I find it very irresponsible to claim that members ARE entitled to liquidated damages when the arbitrators have not ruled that is the case.
The manner in which the MPD implemented the 2007-2011 AHOD has been deemed unlawful, due to the Chief of Police not having the authority by the Mayor to declare a serious handicap. This settlement agreement does not, “absolve the department of any wrong doing” and “effectively force(s) us to start over should the practice continue.” The MPD is still required to either declare an emergency for crime or an unanticipated event (CBA), or demonstrate a serious handicap before the implementation of AHOD or similar events.
Lastly and most troubling to me is the claim that there were 6 different “violations” that Arbitrator Truesdale awarded to include: switched days off, no days off, changed shift, working more than one shift, working 10 days straight and the leave ban. This is just plainly false information. In fact, Arbitrator Truesdale said:
The grievance is sustained. MPD is directed to rescind the January 7, 2009 teletype; promptly advise The Force that it has done so: and, beginning with the date of this Class Grievance, to comply with the requirements of Article 24, Section 1, concerning overtime pay or compensatory time at the rate of time and one half in accordance with the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. I will retain jurisdiction for sixty days for the sole purpose of clarifying the remedy, if needed, upon request of the parties.
The arbitrator was very vague with his ruling, and while again I believe the author of the email personally believes the members should have been compensated for the 6 violations, it is just not the case as they clearly stated.
The fact of the matter is, this decision was made with gaining input from legal counsel as well as our Executive Council and, after weighing the pros and cons, we tried to make the best decision for the members. I knew going into this, if a settlement agreement was made or not made, that there would be those that would be upset about it. Expectations for a long time, and unfortunately still, are being set high for large payouts to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars per member. This just isn’t the case, and realistically this settlement agreement in my opinion (and both law firms’ opinion) is the best deal that we ever could have received. There were a few in my council that wanted me to continue to fight the fight, even if we lost everything, but in the end I could not do that, and still be able to look you in the face. I think that would have been irresponsible for me to gamble away compensation that is owed to you.
I want to thank you all for your support and your dissent. I appreciate the open and honest conversations that have been had on this issue. Whether you agree or not with the outcome of this case, I honestly do appreciate listening to everyone’s point of view and I take a little something away from each and every conversation.
As always be safe and continue to watch each others’ backs.
Posted October 05 2016 at 2:22 PM by Matthew N. Mahl | Permanent Link