[Vision2020] Council wont hear police union request

Donovan Arnold donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 25 21:15:18 PDT 2006

 I don't disagree with anyone that makes the point that  we need to pay Moscow Police officers similar wages as unions demand  and give them a stage to voice their grievances with the city.
  However, I disagree with removing the control of the Moscow Police  Department from the citizens of Moscow and surrendering it to a giant  national political organization with a different agenda than protecting  the citizens of Moscow.
  Take Care,

Tom Ivie <the_ivies3 at yahoo.com> wrote:What  is the problem with allowing the police to unionize?  It's not  like the law will allow them to strike, so let them unionize  already.  

Tom Ivie <the_ivies3 at yahoo.com> wrote:    Council won’t hear police union request 

By Omie Drawhorn Daily News staff writer 
Published: 04-25-2006 

Moscow police want a union. That’s nothing new. 
  City officials don’t want them to have it. That also is nothing new. 
  After  numerous attempts the police department is appealing once again to the  City Council to recognize its union. High turnover, the pay for  performance plan, insurance benefits and communication with the city  are ! the officers’ main concerns. 
  Police  thought this week they were close to finally realizing their goal, but  members of the Moscow Administrative Committee think they can address  officers’ concerns without a union. The committee voted 2-1 Monday not  to forward to the full council a formal request that the city recognize  the Moscow Police Protective Association as a union. 
  Members  of the Moscow Police Department unanimously support forming a police  union, said Lieutenant Dave Lehmitz. But Administrative Committee  members Linda Pall and John Weber on Monday rejected the request. 
  Councilman Aaron Ament voted in favor of the union. 
  “We’re  a bunch of cops,” said Cpl. Art Lindquist of the Moscow Police  Department. “We’re doing our best to negotiate, but this is out of our  league.” 
  A  union would provide the department with a permanent professional voice  and a way to address grievances. “We want to be team players, we want  this to work and we’re interested in seein! g what can be created,”  Lindquist said. “But we’re looking for a permanent fix, we’re looking  to the future.” 
  Lindquist  said there are no guarantees how future councils would respond, no  matter how the present council might handle business. 
  Mayor  Nancy Chaney has had multiple conversations with the police department  over the past few months and talked wi! th police departments in Washington and Idaho looking for solutions. 
  Chaney  joined the Administrative Committee on Monday to address compensation,  benefits and contractual agreements as about 10 police officers  observed from the audience. 
  Chaney  proposed a return to the step and grade pay scale for officers with a  3.5 percent pay raise after each step and an increase in dependents’  medical benefits. 
  She  also suggested getting rid of the department’s at-will employment  policy in which employees can be fired at any time for any reason. 
  Ament was not satisfied. 
  “That’s  not enough,” he said. “The police have asked for a union, that’s what  we’re dealing with. Let’s have an up or down vote on whether or not we  want a union.” 
  Weber disagreed. 
  “What we have is working quite well,” he said. 
  Pall  called for finding common ground amid the structure already in place.  “We’re hoping to accommodate all you want without collective  bargaining,” she said. 
  Ament said the existing system cannot address the problems. 
  “If it could we wouldn’t be here right now,” he said. 
  City!  Attorney Randy Fife said council members will have to decide how much  power they are willing to give up if they allow a police union. 
  “I don’t love power so much that I couldn’t deal with a union to set their pay,” Ament said. 
  Chaney  said she feared other city employees might follow suit and form their  own unions, which would take the p! ower out of the hands of the City  Council — which in turn would take power away from the taxpayers. 
  Lindquist asked if professional representation was in the cards. 
  “The closer you get to professional representation, the closer you get to collective bargaining and a union,” City Supervisor Gary Riedner said. 
  Ament refused to listen to suggestions if unionizing wasn’t part of the picture. “I’m not hearing the word ‘union,’ ” he said. 
  Omie Drawhorn can be reached at (208) 882-5561, ext. 234, or by e-mail at odrawhorn at dnews.com. 
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