Police Union Responds To COO Memo

by Categorized: Chief Operating Officer, Police Date:

The Hartford Police Union today responded to a city memo, written by the interim chief operating officer and sent to city council members, which said that four unions have declined to provide concessions. You can read more about that here and here.

Below is the union’s response (from union President Richard Holton):

IN RESPONSE TO THE RECENT ARTICLE CONCERNING THE HARTFORD POLICE UNIONS UNWILLINGNESS TO ENTER INTO CONCESSION DISCUSSIONS, AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE HARTFORD POLICE UNION I WOULD LIKE TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.

THE CITY AND THE UNION ENGAGED IN OVER TWO YEARS OF NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE CURRENT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT WHICH WAS SIGNED ON AUGUST 24TH, 2012. THESE NEGOTIATIONS RESULTED IN SIGNIFICANT CONCESSIONS MADE BY THE UNION WHICH INCLUDED INCREASED HEALTH CARE CONTRIBUTIONS AND INCREASED CO-PAYMENTS, TWO YEARS WITHOUT ANY PAY RATE INCREASE, REDUCED RETIREMENT BENEFITS AND INCREASED RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS.

THIS UNION HAS CERTAINLY DONE ITS PART IN ADDRESSING THE CONCERNS OF THE CITY, WHILE MAINTAINING ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO ITS MEMBERSHIP. HOWEVER THE CITY’S EXPECTATIONS OF OBTAINING $3,000,000.00 IN CONCESSSIONS ARE UNREALISTIC, TO EXPECT US TO PARTICIPATE IN CONCESSION DISCUSSIONS IN A LITTLE OVER A YEAR OF SIGNING AN AGREEMENT THAT WE PERCIEVE EXTENSIVE IN THE AREA OF CONCESSIONS IS JUST NOT LOGICAL.

AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE DISORGANIZATION ON THE PART OF THE CITY, MR ILG’S MEMO REFERENCED IN YOUR ARTICLE CREDITS THE FIRE UNION WITH DISCUSSING AS PART OF A HEALTH CARE COMMTTEE COST SAVINGS. SINCE AT LEAST 1987 WITHIN THE POLICE UNION CONTRACT THERE HAS BEEN A PROVISION TO HAVE SUCH A COMMITTEE, DESPITE A NUMBER OF REQUESTS BY THE UNION, THE CITY HAS NEVER FUFILLED ITS OBLIGATION TO COMMENCE THIS COMMITTEE.

HISTORICALLY, THE CITY’S HANDLING OF CONCESSIONARY DISCUSSIONS HAS RESULTED IN THE ABUSE OF OTHER CITY UNIONS BY REFUSING TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE WITH A COALITION OF UNIONS. THEY HAVE CONTINUALLY EMPLOYED THE DIVIDE AND CONQUER APPROACH WITH OF COURSE THE THREAT OF JOB SECURITY.

AS A FINAL STATEMENT WE ARE PROUD TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF HARTFORD, IN DOING SO WE EXPECT A FAIR WAGE FOR WHAT WE DO. I WOULD CHALLENGE ANYONE TO FIND OUR WAGES AND BENEFITS TO BE INEXCESS OF OTHER SIMILAR CITY’S AND TOWNS, UNLIKE OUR NON-UNION POSITIONS WITHIN THE CITY.

WE STAND READY TO ENTERTAIN LOGICAL DISCUSSION TO MAXIMAZIE THE CITY’S TAXPAYERS DOLLARS WITHOUT A PREDETERMINED FINAL RESOLUTION ($3,000,000.00 IN CONCESSIONS).

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