Sunday, November 30, 2008

United States Capitol Visitors Center Opens Tuesday

Police Chief Phillip Morse (left) Former Police Chief Terrance Gainer (right)


Tuesday the Visitors Center will be officially opened. Until now, the security of our most important national facility has been very difficult. It is a miracle that there has not been a major terror attack on the Cathedral of Democracy. The United States Capitol Police have been fighting to keep up with the growing security risks, while having almost impossible rules of engagement. The new Visitors Center will be a big improvement in security.

Unfortunately, this new facility comes too late for Detective John Gibson and Officer Jacob Chestnut. On July 24, 1998, these two Capitol Police officers lost their lives protecting the Capitol, my Capitol, your Capitol. No other police department has experienced the rapid changes that the Capitol Police Department has. Only twenty years ago the agency was a patronage security service. Today, it is on the front line of the fight against terror. Many of the older officers are dealing with much more than they bargained for when they were hired.

A giant leap forward was made under former Chief Terrance Gainer. The improvements continue with the current Chief, Phillip Morse. Both of these leaders are professional law enforcement officers. Chief Gainer is now the Sergeant at Arms in the United States Senate. We owe a lot to these two chiefs and the other members of the United States Capitol Police.

Call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to support the Capitol Police. To learn more, look at this brochure prepared last year for the Capitol Police by POLICEPAY.Net.


Vallejo, CA - Mesa, AZ Cop PR Rep/Former Vallejo Resident Gives Her Opinion

Letter To The Editor
Vallejo Times-Herald

"Vallejo has always been home for me. Growing up in a town like Vallejo, it was hard not to be proud of the community. When I went to college, I moved out to Phoenix and have been out here ever since - but Vallejo is still my home. When people asked me where I was from, I would usually just say 'a town outside of San Francisco.' If I said that I was from Vallejo, the first question would be, 'Where is that?'

Now, that has changed.

'Vallejo? Oh, that's the city that filed for bankruptcy, right?' I cringe every time I hear that, in addition to the feeling of embarrassment."

Houston, TX - Local governments struggling to cope with recession

Houston Chronicle

"The recession is driving America's city governments into an epic fiscal storm. Unlike earlier downturns, all three big revenue sources — income, property and sales taxes — are falling together. Cumulative budget shortfalls are already in the tens of billions and rising.

Among America's 87,500 governments, only Washington can print money. In a pinch, the only real option for cities and states is to spend less — thereby taking money out of the economy and deepening a recession. With more than 20 million employees, 14 percent of the total American work force, states and cities are a significant part of the total national economy."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Los Angeles, CA - Bratton Says Cutting Crime Pays

Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton

Wall Street Journal

Top Cop in Los Angeles Says Cutting Crime Pays - "LOS ANGELES -- Shrinking budgets are forcing such cities as Phoenix, Portland, Ore., and San Diego to make deep cuts, including to police. But Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton has grown his department with a persuasive argument about the financial costs of crime.

The city is adding 1,000 police officers, pushing its force levels in the Los Angeles Police Department to above 10,000 for the first time. Even as the city faces a more than $400 million shortfall for this fiscal year and next, the police budget -- the city's most costly department -- is emerging largely unscathed."

Fremont, NE - City official: Experience helps during negotiations

Fremont Tribune

"Even though Fremont city administrator Bob Hartwig has been in his first position as the chief executive of a city for nearly two years now, this year’s negotiations with a union representing Fremont police officers wasn’t his first time around the table.

“It is the first time I’ve been involved with union negotiations, but I’ve been involved with negotiations for contracts,” Hartwig said."

Washington, DC - Public Safety Collective Bargaining Bill Should Make It In 2009

Kay Hagan, Senator Elect North Carolina (Defeated Elizabeth Dole who voted against public safety bill)

The News & Observer
Raleigh, NC

"Labor is also looking for some help on bills in Congress.

The U.S. House last year passed a bill to allow law enforcement officers, firefighters and other emergency public employees to engage in collective bargaining -- a measure aimed at North Carolina and Virginia. If the measure gets through Congress, it would create two categories of public employees: police and emergency workers who can negotiate a contract and the rest of the state employees who cannot."

Louisville, KY - Firefighters put off vote on pay-cut request


"Instead of voting on whether to forgo their 2 percent raise and take three days of unpaid furlough time to help balance the city budget, Louisville firefighters decided to wait and study their options.

At a union meeting yesterday, about 100 firefighters gathered to discuss Mayor Jerry Abramson's request that they agree to cut their pay for the remaining six months of the fiscal year to help the city dig out of a projected $20 million budget shortfall.

'We don't want to be painted into a corner,' said Craig Willman, president of the union."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Louisville, KY - Corrections union rejects proposed cuts


"Metro Corrections union members have joined Louisville's police officers in rejecting a proposal that would rescind their raises and require them to take three unpaid furlough days to help trim a city budget shortfall.

Mayor Jerry Abramson's plan would cut raises for six months starting Jan. 1 for union employees and require them to take three unpaid days.

If those cuts are made for all 6,000 city employees, including the 75 percent who belong to unions, it would save about $2.6 million toward the projected $20 million budget deficit."

Waco, TX - Police union alleges McLennan County Sheriff's Office attempting 'union busting'

McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch


"A lawyer for a powerful statewide police union alleges that McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch is staging “illegal union-busting attempts” to try to control the local sheriff’s officers association.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent Wednesday to Lynch, Tom A. Stribling, staff attorney for the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, said he represents more than 60 members of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Officers Association. “I have learned of recent activities by uniformed McLennan County deputies designed to intimidate association members and to disrupt the lawful operation of the association,” Stribling wrote.

He said the alleged tactics possibly violate state law and his clients’ First Amendment rights to freedom of association."

We Have A Lot To Be Thankful For - Thanksgiving 2008

We have many things to be thankful for today, but the most important is that we live in the greatest country in the world - The United States of America. God Bless America.


Des Moines, IA - Union leaders offer to bargain to save city jobs

Des Moines Register

"Union officials, backed by about two dozen rank-and-file employees, said Wednesday they are willing to renegotiate salary and benefit packages to spare about 90 jobs that could be targeted to help Des Moines city leaders erase a budget deficit.

City workers in bright green T-shirts showed up at a Des Moines City Council budget workshop Wednesday to make their plea."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Norwalk, OH - Unions agree on contracts

The Reflector

"Norwalk city council got an early holiday gift at Tuesday night's work session all three unions representing police and firefighters agreed to three-year contracts with no raises in 2009.

The contracts call for three percent raises in both 2010 and 2011.

'I would like to commend them for negotiations that went very well,' said Mayor Sue Lesch. Because of the city's tight budget, she has also agreed to forego a raise in 2009.

Stuart O'Hara, city law director, commended the 'sacrifice the unions made' in the contracts. He told council the contracts contain details that slightly change allowances for uniforms and reimbursement for education."

Austin, TX - Firefighters reject labor contract


"Austin firefighters overwhelmingly rejected a proposed labor contract with the city that would have given them pay raises and increased pension contributions and the department more hiring flexibility to add minorities to the ranks.

Austin Firefighters Association Local 975 officials said that 582 firefighters voted against the agreement during four days of voting that ended Wednesday, while 160 supported the measure. The union has 948 members."

Vallejo, CA - More Cities Considering The Vallejo Route

Dean Gloster, Union Attorney


"When the town of Vallejo, California, declared bankruptcy this spring, Mayor Osby Davis predicted — and rightly so — that he'd get an earful from his constituents, employees and retirees. What he didn't anticipate was the chorus of phone calls from mayors outside the city, both close by and clear across the country. They told him they were watching Vallejo's bankruptcy proceedings closely, and some of them, he says, indicated that 'they find themselves not too far behind us.'

Vallejo, a city of 120,000 about 35 miles northeast of San Francisco, flat-out went broke this year through a combination of generous public-safety salaries, declining property values and fiscal mismanagement. The city is estimating a $17 million deficit for the current fiscal year."

Louisville, KY - Firefighters Considering Concessions - Not The FOP

WAVE Louisville

"LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson has given the city's unions until Monday to get back to him on budget concessions. On Tuesday, Abramson said it appears four out of the five unions may be willing to take a pay cut to save the city money as it tries to make its way out of a $20-million hole. WAVE 3's Janelle MacDonald spoke with union leaders.

The firefighter's union, teamsters, corrections and AFSCME all sat down with Abramson on Tuesday to get his pitch for concessions. After the meetings, Abramson told WAVE 3 union leaders appear willing to work with the city as long as the police union does as well."

Oakland, CA - Mayor Dellums lifts police overtime restrictions

Oakland Tribune

"OAKLAND — Mayor Ron Dellums moved Tuesday to loosen restrictions on the Police Department's use of overtime pay as officials hope to keep the city safer during the holiday season.

Oakland normally sees an increase in crime this time of year, officials said, and Dellums' decision came in the wake of a brutal attack on an 80-year-old woman last week and three homicides in the past five days.

The mayor agreed to allow additional overtime pay for certain policing efforts, including special enforcement operations, additional patrols to respond to specific crime trends, and increased investigations. A directive he issued said: 'Under no circumstances '... can the overtime limits set for the Police Department be seen as an impediment to keeping our city safe.'"


Simi Valley, CA - Police benefits, pay to rise 7 percent

Ventura County Star

"Simi Valley police officers are receiving a 7.05 percent raise in total compensation, including salary and benefits, city officials said Tuesday.

Although faced with an already constricted budget, the city anticipated most of the cost — $1.35 million — based on terms of a contract signed in 2005.

The new compensation rates will be in effect retroactively as of June 23 through June 23, 2009."

Vallejo, CA - Police, fire look to bolster ranks

Vallejo Police Chief Robert Nichelini


"In an attempt to combat the deflating public safety ranks, Vallejo city management is working to shore up its training programs.

The city's trip to federal bankruptcy court this year has taken a toll on the employee rosters. As employees continue to look to other agencies for potentially more secure jobs or consider early retirement, Vallejo's department heads are faced with the task of trying to draw in new blood.

The Vallejo Police Department plans to bolster its ranks with both long- and short-term mechanisms. The existing cadet program may receive $50,000 more so that more potential officers, many fresh out of high school, can start building policing experience while earning a college degree and police academy certification."

Louisville, KY - Mayor asks unions to give up raises

Mayor Jerry Abramson


"Mayor Jerry Abramson is asking Louisville's union employees to give up their 2 percent annual pay raise starting Jan. 1 to help cope with a projected $20 million deficit in the city's $500 million general fund budget.

The mayor also said yesterday that he plans to announce cuts in city services sometime next week and soon thereafter will detail his overall plan for balancing the budget.

Abramson met with four of the five unions that represent the vast majority of city employees to talk about ways to cut costs. Unions represent about 75 percent of the city's 6,000 employees, and the mayor has the authority to rescind pay raises to nonunion workers."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Barack, I Hardly Knew You - What A Pleasant Surprise

Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama


Barack Obama you are amazing. After writing you off as another left wing idealist, I have been forced to reconsider. Suddenly, you are saying and doing all of the right things. Your appointments have been brilliant. It takes courage to embrace the Clintons, but it is a smart move. Delaying any tax increases (1) is also a smart idea. Standing up to the auto companies is another courageous act. John Dingell is a powerful opponent. Having the courage to keep Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense shows that you have self-confidence. Your economic counsel is a dream team. I believe you will take their advice.

I now believe that our greatest days are ahead of us. I did not think that just two weeks ago. Your election reminds me of the elevation of Lyndon Johnson. The most unlikely one brought the greatest reforms in civil rights. Just like Nixon going to China, you have a golden opportunity to revitalize our economy. So far, I am impressed. Keep up the good work.

Your obedient servant

Ron York

(1) This was first erroneous. It said cut, not increase. Tax cuts done right are good. Tax increases are almost always bad for the economy.


El Paso, TX - 2009 Academy canceled

KVIA El Paso

"EL PASO, Texas -- The tough economy is forcing the city to scale back its training for police officers. The 2009 police academy is cancelled.

'In a perfect world would we have more officers sure,' said Officer Chris Mears with the El Paso Police Department.

But during these tough economic times the city of El Paso has cancelled the six month training academy that prepares new officers for 2009.

'We're getting by on what we have, ' said Mears.

And that is ... a little over 1,100 police officers to patrol the streets of El Paso."


San Francisco Makes It Back To The Trendline - Case-Shiller Housing Index


San Francisco and Phoenix have made it back to the long-term trend line for housing prices, based on a report released today Standards and Poor. Las Vegas and San Diego are very close to making it back. Finally, the insanity has been wrung out of those market. With little help from the economy in generally, housing can soon go back to building new units at a normal pace.

Selected Cities In The Case-Shiller Index


Louisville, KY - FOP rejects 4 options to cut budget

Louisville FOP Lodge President John McGuire at last night's meeting

The Courier-Journal

"Louisville's police union rejected four options Police Chief Robert White gave his uniformed officers to cut $1.3 million from the police budget -- all of which would cost them money.

The choices, designed to help the city offset a projected $20 million budget shortfall, would require officers to pay more to use take-home cars, lose vacation time, forgo raises for the rest of the year or choose some combination of those options.

But last night, about 700 to 800 union members held an emergency meeting and unanimously voted to reject any offer, saying they were issues that should be bargained along with their contract. White had requested a response by 4 p.m. today."

Kalispell, MT - With New Budget Crunch, City Feels Pressure From All Sides

The Kalispell, Montana Police Department

Flathead Beacon

"The slumping economy is backing Kalispell City Council members into a corner where they must determine how to keep the government’s finances solvent while trying to avoid making any job cuts to the fire and police departments. At the same time, Kalispell’s developers are renewing their opposition to the proposed transportation impact fees, with several new corporate voices adding to the chorus of objection. Council members sat at the intersection of these forces Monday night in a chamber filled with developers, city firefighters and police officers.

Reluctant to lay off any city employees, the council directed Interim City Manager Myrt Webb to continue operating with a stripped down budget for another two weeks, and the city will revisit whether job cuts are necessary at its Dec. 8 work session, at which no formal votes are allowed."

Houston, TX - Expert: Houston leaders 'inventing gimmicks to handle fiscal problems

Houston Mayor, Bill White

KHOU Houston

"HOUSTON -- The deepening financial crisis has brought major banks, car companies and even insurance giants to their knees, leaving many to wonder: What’s next? The answer may be closer to home than you think.

Financial experts warn the City of Houston, itself, is at risk.

Accountant Bob Lemer, a former partner in the Houston office of Ernst & Young, said he’s seen the numbers and it doesn’t look good."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Louisville, KY - FOP Rejects Budget Cuts, Take-Home Car Price Hike


a single-file line into the
chuwas held

Louisville Police Officers Saluting their fallen brother, Officer Peter Grignon - 2005

WLKY Louisville

"LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Members of the River City Fraternal Order of Police have rejected a request to pay more for take-home vehicles and other concessions in the face of a major budget shortfall.

More than 800 FOP members filed into the union's lodge Monday night to vote against Mayor Jerry Abramson's request.

'With the Mayor going after the Louisville Fire Department and the Louisville Metro Police Department, it shows a total lack of regard for the safety of our citizens in Louisville Metro,' said FOP President John McGuire in a statement. 'If the Mayor decides to make changes that will decrease police presence in our community by changing the current Metro Police Fleet program, he should be aware that the safety of our citizens will be directly affected.'


Binghamton, NY - Arbitration between city, police could extend until 2010

Press & Sun-Bulletin

"BINGHAMTON -- Contract arbitration between the city and police could be delayed into 2010 because of an effort of some police supervisors to split from their union, said chief Joseph Zikuski.

The Binghamton Police Supervisors Association, which represents about 30 upper-level officers, is seeking to split from the Police Benevolent Association.

The chief and two assistant chiefs testified in the matter in Albany last week. The hearing, which went longer than expected, will be continued on Feb. 25.

Following the hearing, each side will have 30 days to submit legal arguments, then the hearing officer could take months to render a decision."

Springfield, IL - Comparing Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Pension Plans

By Chad Lucas, CPA
Sikich LLP

"To say the economy played a role in the outcome of the recent presidential election would be a big understatement. Deciding who would be the best person to help guide the country through the economic crisis was a question that everyone pondered when casting their vote. Regardless of who you voted for, we can all hope that things get better. But for now, everywhere you turn, there seems to be nothing but more, bad economic news. The stock market has more ups and downs than a ride at Six Flags (mostly downs lately) and we are all getting a little tired of hearing the word “bailout”."




President-Elect Barack Obama has hit a home run with his economic team. Every key player is a pragmatic capitalist - no socialists. This is a team that would make Ronald Reagan happy. Based on what was said during the campaign, I thought we in for a bunch "feel gooders" who would wreck the economy. The Team is, in the order of their photographs:

"The Godfather"
Robert Rubin

Secretary of Treasury
Timothy Geithner

Council of Economic Advisers
Lawrence Summers

Council of Economic Advisers
Christina Romer

Budget Director
Peter Orszag

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Honolulu, HI - Trouble In Paradise

Honolulu Advertiser

Tenari R. Ma'afala, SHOPO President

"The state's police union is accusing Honolulu police officials of mishandling disciplinary actions against officers by prematurely penalizing them without properly investigating complaints since 2006.

It is the first time in more than 25 years that the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers has filed a state labor complaint on behalf of all Honolulu officers regarding disciplinary action.

"This has really negatively impacted and affected the mindset and morale of our Honolulu police officers to a point where it has now become a safety concern and has had a 'chilling effect' for our police officers and their families. This 'chilling effect' will ultimately have a direct, negative impact on the community," SHOPO president Tenari R. Maafala said in a statement.


Salt Lake City, UT - Utah cities stay afloat financially

By Rebecca Palmer, Joseph M. Dougherty and Jared Page
Deseret News

"The tight global credit market is forcing some Utah towns to hold off on planned financing and requiring others to pay unexpectedly high interest rates for existing debt.

Other cities are nervous about how their financing will be received in the marketplace.

But compared with cities such as Vallejo, Calif., which has declared bankruptcy, and Kansas City, Kan., which can't finance a sewer system, most Utah cities are well-managed and have been careful to balance debt and cash flow, according to the results of a multi-jurisdictional survey by the Deseret News."

Youngtown, AZ - Ed Siemen Gets His Job Back (The Cop With Cancer)

earlier article

"Discord lingers between town officials and Youngtown's police force over internal operation of the Police Department, but both sides remain hopeful the northwest Valley town can put a recent series of contentious problems behind it. In a move praised by both sides, the department has hired an experienced police administrator to help sort out the issues."

The department's simmering problems erupted after the firing of Ed Siemen, a cancer-stricken detective who fractured his back while arresting a child molester two years ago and had hoped for a disability retirement.

The town later admitted that it took too long processing his disability papers, and Siemen was recently reinstated and approved to receive pension.

Gary, IN - A return to full week, pay

Post-Tribune staff writer

"GARY -- City workers can expect to return to a five-day work week Dec. 8, Mayor Rudy Clay said Friday, ending a 20 percent pay cut that lasted nearly four months.

Ten rookie police officers who were placed on furlough have been told to report back to work the same day, and 13 furloughed firefighters expect to return to work a week later.

'We want everybody to have a Merry Christmas,' Clay said, 'including firefighters and including police.'"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oakland, CA - No money to train police recruits, Dellums says


"OAKLAND — Mayor Ron Dellums detailed his decision to postpone the 166th Oakland Police Academy in a letter to City Council members Friday, saying the city does not have the money to put more recruits through training at this time.

The academy was originally scheduled to begin Dec. 8 and will be postponed until spring or summer of next year.

'Given the harsh fiscal realities that we face today — which are more severe than expected even a few months ago — delaying the December police academy is the only responsible decision we can make,' Dellums wrote.

Police officials told 44 recruits Nov. 13 the academy would be postponed, and Dellums' letter left it clear the mayor believed he had no other choice.

Bridgeport, CT - City and police union reach tentative four-year labor contract

The Bridgeport News

"The city and the Bridgeport police union have reached a tentative contract agreement which, if approved by the union membership, would keep all 423 police officers on the Bridgeport police force.

The tentative agreement provides for zero-percent pay raises for the next two years, followed by pay increases in the later years of the four-year deal. The exact details of the last two years of the proposed contract were not immediately released by the Mayor’s Office. A mayoral spokesman said early Saturday afternoon she did not have those details to provide to the media."

Obama Begins The Move To The Right


President-elect, Barack Obama jettisons his campaign rhetoric and starts a move to the right.

The nomination of Tim Geithner to be Secretary of Treasury is good news for the economy. It appears that Geithner will be supported by a team of economic advisers that includes Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin. Although Bill Clinton's first Treasury Secretary was Lloyd Bentsen, Robert Reich and George Stephanopoulos were the ones that had the President's ear. Let's just hope these guys stay far, far away from Obama. In 1995, Clinton dumped this poor arrangement and had Rubin and Summers start running the economic show. Things went well. Hopefully, Obama's team can talk him out of his class envy, soak the rich tax increase. Any tax increase now is economic insanity.

If Hillary Clinton becomes Secretary of State Bill Clinton will have a direct pipeline to Obama's ear. Bill can be a lot of help for the new President.

Bill Richardson will make a good Secretary of Commerce. Although he buys into some of the left's feel good nonsense, he is a supporter of NAFTA and WTO (free trade). His home state, New Mexico, is young and has no old industry that wants to preserve the industrial age of 100 years ago.

Eric Holder as Attorney General is bad. He will not be the police officers' friend - the economy's either. Look for more victimization nonsense and prosecution of the "real criminals" in society. Oh, it is not the gang bangers and dope boys. It is corporate executives. Success, oh sorry, greed will be the biggest sin of them all. I sure wish Obama had picked someone else. However, I wish Eric well and hope he proves me to be wrong.

Except for Holder, Obama's selections are to the right of his campaign positions. That's good news for the economy. If Obama would come out and say that there will no tax increases on anyone as long the the economy is struggling, I believe things would begin to pickup. The sharp decline in the stock market since the election is a vote of no confidence in the rhetoric that Obama's campaign was putting out. He is now starting to walk away from it. He could also help by having Joe Biden call up all of the major press and tell them to give it up. Obama won, Bush is leaving, along with Cheney. Just give it up. Talking down the economy now serves no purpose. Even the Obama network (NBC/MSNBC) cannot let go of their hatred for Bush. I guess they intend to bash the "Bush Economy" right to January 20th. They should be "greasing the skids" for their guy now.

The fundamentals of the economy are very good. With some restoration of confidence, the economy will rebound quickly and briskly. But first, we have to regain our faith. Our faith in our economic system and in ourselves. This is the United States, the land of opportunity and hope, not the USSR. To the naysayers - shut up. We've heard you long enough. Let's all help our new President succeed.


Allentown, PA - FOP Agree to New Contract, Pension Plan


"Both sides finally agree. The city of Allentown and its Fraternal Order of Police have reached a breakthrough over pension benefits. The current Allentown Police contract was set to expire by the end of year. But today, news broke that the city's contract arbitration panel has issued a new agreement. WFMZ's Bo Koltnow has the details."

Cyber Space - OpEdNews » Caveat Emptor

OpEd News

"Consequently, my 'Police' team spent inordinate amounts of time on additional research and on repetitious, unproductive negotiating sessions with our 'City' counterparts. The day before the class deadline, the 'City' team accepted our proposal with a laugh and admitted they never had the conflicting data they claimed to have seen."

Comments from Ron York: This article includes a discussion of ethics being taught in business schools. It is disappointing. The article rambles at first, but go down to sub heading "Do MBA Schools Teach Unethical Business Practices?" It is worth the effort.

Los Angeles, CA - Villaraigosa calls for 'emergency overhaul' of budget - Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

"Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Friday called for an 'emergency overhaul' of the city's budget, saying most departments must cut 3% of their costs through the end of the fiscal year.

One day after the city's top financial expert proposed reductions to libraries, tree trimming and other services, Villaraigosa said dramatic and immediate action is now needed.

The mayor asked department heads to prepare new budgets for the first six months of 2009 by Dec. 1."

Las Vegas, NV - Talk of Reopening Contracts

Las Vegas Sun

"One union, the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, which represents Metro and corrections officers, is refusing to reopen its contract, saying it would be all but pointless because the union’s contract expires in June and is accounted for in the county budget.

President Chris Collins is less than thrilled with the prospect of his union being the first to negotiate a new contract because it could set the standard for public-employee contracts in the new economy.

The jockeying has begun and the police union’s stance could foreshadow some inter-union tension.

If layoffs are necessary, Collins said, workers in nursing and fire and police services should be treated differently from other county employees.

“I think if you ask someone on the street if they would rather cut a police officer or cut county employee ‘B’, they’ll pick B,” he said. “The people who provide for the safety and welfare of the citizens in our valley, that should be our very last cut.”"

Cape Girardeau, MO - Police Pay Raise Upsets Other Employees

Southeast Missourian

"A pay raise plan for Cape Girardeau police officers that sets them apart from all other city workers is creating friction among some employees.

Lagging tax collections forced the city to send a memo out Nov. 4 announcing city workers would receive a $600 one-time payment Dec. 26 in lieu of a cost-of-living pay raise. On Monday, city department heads received a memo explaining that police officers would receive a more lucrative package to keep salaries competitive and reduce turnover."

Friday, November 21, 2008

POLICEPAY Revamping Seminars and Financial Analysis

POLICEPAY is in the process of modifying the curriculum for our seminars to reflect the recent decline in the national economy. After six years of being on the offense, we must switch to defense. We are also adding projections and forecasts to our ability-to-pay study. A different economy requires a different approach. Next week, we will publish a special edition of the POLICEPAY Journal. We tell you all about the up coming changes. Be sure to read it.

Ron York


Sacramento, CA - More California cities hurtling into fiscal void?

Sacramento Bee

"When the city of Vallejo filed for bankruptcy protection in May, the logical question was: Is this a sign of things to come?

Now two more California cities – Rio Vista and Isleton – are considering bankruptcy protection as an option as they face large budget shortfalls and staggering debt.

While experts caution against ringing the alarm bells just yet, they do say tough economic times could push municipalities already on the brink over the edge."

Lexington, KY - Council tables police, fire contracts

By Michelle Ku

Councilman Ed Lane

"By a vote of 8-6 on Thursday, a divided Urban County Council decided to table a resolution that would have required the council to approve the city's collective bargaining contracts with police, fire and community corrections.

Mary Sharp, a labor lawyer speaking on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Fire Fighters, told the council that it is illegal for the council to approve the collective bargaining contracts. Also, the state General Assembly gave the responsibility of approving the contracts to the mayor, Sharp said."

Las Vegas, NV - Clark CountyTalk turns to layoffs, pay cuts


Commissioner Rory Reid

"A deepening recession and impending state budget cuts prompted Clark County leaders to meet with union officials Thursday to begin discussing how to avoid layoffs.

Commissioner Rory Reid, who called the meeting, said it was unprecedented for the three main unions representing county employees to talk about cost-cutting while their labor contracts are in place.
Reid and union leaders said they have not decided on ways to trim labor costs, which may include reducing overtime or annual pay raises. But Reid indicated he would be open to renegotiating"

Lousiville, KY - Firefighters may lose state incentive pay


Mayor Jerry Abramson

"Louisville firefighters will lose $3,100 a year in state incentive pay if metro government follows through with its plan to opt out of the voluntary program Dec. 1, state fire commission officials said yesterday.

Metro officials announced the move Wednesday, saying they can't afford the higher overtime costs based on pay that includes the incentive funds.

The change will save taxpayers $1 million annually, officials said."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chandler, AZ - Sheriff-elect Babeu won't finish year with Chandler police

Arizona Republic

"Paul Babeu had planned to come back to his Chandler police officer's job for a few weeks until he took office as Pinal County's new sheriff Jan. 1. That's not going to happen.

Although city officials say he hasn't officially resigned, Babeu, 39, said he has 'too much on my plate to realistically return to work in Chandler.'

That includes learning about the Pinal County budget process and operations of the 800-person department he soon will lead."

Utica, NY - City passes police union contract


"UTICA — The city Board of Estimate & Apportionment voted unanimously today in favor of a new contract for Utica’s police union.

This three-year contract includes 3-percent raises per year and grants police with the enhanced 384-e state pension plan. The raises take effect retroactively back to April 1, 2008, but the new retirement plan would begin on April 1, 2009, city officials said."

Mesa, AZ - Police Department faces $7.6M cut

The Tribune

Mesa Police Chief George Gascon

"Mesa Police Chief George Gascon informed his agency’s roughly 1,500 employees via video and e-mail that the ongoing efforts to slash the city budget will translate to a $7.6 million cut for the police department up to the rest of this fiscal year, which ends in June. And it doesn’t get better for the next fiscal year, with another $15 million in projected cuts."