Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fresno Police Union Votes for Contract Cuts - KGPE CBS47 News, Sports & Weather for the Central Valley

Fresno Police Union Votes for Contract Cuts - KGPE CBS47 News, Sports & Weather for the Central Valley: "The crackdown continues on gangs in Southwest Fresno. There were three murders in two days and officers are being asked to do even more -- at a time when they are giving back financially to help the city in difficult times.

On Monday, members of the Fresno Police Officers Union approved modifications to their contract. The changes will save the city $3 million."

Lansing Board Rejects Tentative FOP Contract

Shopper Source Online > News > 04-28-10 Lansing Board Rejects Tentative FOP Contract: "A tentative contract agreement between the village and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) failed to gain the approval of the village board last week.

Mayor Norm Abbott negotiated with the FOP for the past eight months and had signed a tentative agreement in January, but since that time the village's financial situation has further deteriorated. When he brought the tentative agreement to the board for discussion they expressed their concern and asked him to see if the union would reopen negotiations. He did, but they refused. After informing the board of the union's response they decided to bring the contract to the board for a vote."

Gilbert, AZ employees agree to take voluntary pay cuts

Gilbert town employees agree to take voluntary pay cuts: "Three unions representing hundreds of Gilbert government employees have agreed to take a 3 percent pay cut, which is expected to reduce general-fund spending by $1.8 million next fiscal year.

The wage reductions, which were announced Monday, will stretch beyond the unions and affect all employees, according to a staff memo from interim Town Manager Collin DeWitt."

Austin Police Chief Acevedo Withdraws Dallas Police Chief Bid

Austin Police Chief Acevedo Withdraws Dallas Police Chief Bid: "AUSTIN, TX - Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has announced that he's staying in Austin and that he has withdrawn his name for consideration for the Dallas police chief position.

The Dallas Police Department has been looking for a replacement to current Chief David Kunkle, who will be retiring this year. Chief Acevedo was among five potential candidates all vying for Kunkle's position."

City Pulls Police Contract Off Table - Omaha News Story - KETV Omaha

City Pulls Police Contract Off Table - Omaha News Story - KETV Omaha: "OMAHA, Neb. --

In a surprise move, the Omaha City Council on Tuesday first voted to strip the new police contract of its amendments and then voted down the original, tentative contract.
The council went into executive session for over an hour before the votes. Council members resumed open session and expressed doubts about whether future negotiations with the police union would be effective."

Schenectady OKs contract with cops -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY

Schenectady OKs contract with cops -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY: "SCHENECTADY -- The city council and the city's Police Benevolent Association have agreed on a new four-year contract that allows more extensive drug testing of officers and requires them to pay a portion of their health insurance."

Shreveport mayor seeks clarity on police union's right to endorse political candidates | | Shreveport Times

Shreveport mayor seeks clarity on police union's right to endorse political candidates | | Shreveport Times: "Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover's office has appealed a Caddo District Court judge's decision to allow the local police union to endorse political candidates.

But City Council members say there's no reason to fight it now. The panel can vote today on whether taxpayers should fund the legal battle."

Las Vegas -DIRE FISCAL PICTURE: Cuts even deeper for police - News -

DIRE FISCAL PICTURE: Cuts even deeper for police - News - "By BRIAN HAYNES
When he unveiled his agency's tentative budget in February, Sheriff Doug Gillespie painted a dire fiscal picture that required millions of dollars in cuts, including elimination of 30 police officer positions.

Two months later, the budget picture is even worse."

Home price index shows 1st annual gain in 3 years

Home price index shows 1st annual gain in 3 years: "MIAMI -- Home prices in February posted their first annual increase in more than three years, though it's too early to say the housing market is recovering.

Despite the 0.6 percent increase on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, 11 of the 20 cities in the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index showed decline"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

The Municipal Recovery of 2010 Begins Now

(Click Headline for PDF Version)

And now, we begin the climb out of the financial quagmire that has afflicted us for the past year.  The national economic recovery left Union Station eight months ago.  Today, the Hometown Limited is about to slowly pull out of the station.  We have a long climb to get back to the 2008-2009 level, but the hemorrhaging has been arrested.   As one large city financial analyst explained to me last week – “We fell into a deep well and now someone has thrown us a two foot step ladder and a rope.  We are still in the well, but we are working our way out.”

Nationally, 2010 has the potential to get back to the prerecession level.  As of today, the expansion is very brisk.  Productivity gains are very high when compared to the historical record.  The unemployed are starting to be reintegrated into the expanding economy.  The combination of rapid productivity advances and the expansion of the workforce could result in the most powerful recovery in history.  For cities, it will not be this year that the total decline is erased, maybe not even next year.

Regardless of the rate of recovery, cities will be slow to acknowledge improvements in revenue, claiming they are only temporary.  It will probably be six months before the evidence of local recovery is so pervasive that city management will let go of their disaster scenarios.  Now, we need to move from the damage control mode to foundation building for 2011 and forward.  At this point, you should call off the attack dogs that have been knocking down outrageous claims of financial ruin.

Publicly, your rhetoric should be silenced – all rhetoric.  You should be doing all of your “public talking” with “not-so-public groups” that are opinion leaders – chamber of commerce, civic clubs, political parties.  Your message needs to be “law and order”, “personal safety”, and “quality of life.”  A new foundation of public opinion has to be built from scratch.  The base that provided support for damage control will no longer serve our needs.

So how will this “recovery” manifest itself?  When will we see it and how will we recognize it?  Well, for many cities it arrived this month – April 2010.  For most cities, it will show itself next month – May 2010. 

If your city has a fiscal year end of June 30th, you will not see any sign of recovery in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) until January 1, 2012 – ancient history by then.  The first fiscal year to show growth will be FYE June 30, 2011.  The CAFR will not be released until six months later.

The same city will not show any relief in its budget document until April 2012.  For the 2011-2012 budget (released April 2011), most cities will attempt to explain away any revenue increases as temporary and milk the recession for one more year.  Obviously, the CAFR and the budget are not going to be timely enough for our purposes.  We have to look for other sources.

The best place to find current measurements of your city’s financial well being is something like a sales tax or occupancy tax – a number that is reported in a timely manner and is not easily manipulated.  But, even this information requires honest and accurate statistical analysis.  Simply comparing one month to another month is not good enough.  Something has to be done to control for seasonal variations and timing problems with the actual receipt of the funds by your city.

Another new reality is the amount of information readily available and the real time scrutiny that is given to most remarks.  While it was always been important, being totally honest and logical is mandatory today.  Speaking in platitudes and cliques no longer works in most arenas.  You just come off looking like a fool.  You have to put the necessary time and effort into your remarks just to keep them from backfiring.  Making them effective requires even more.  Most police associations should hire a professional spokesperson.  Sure, everyone will know that the speaker is a “hired gun.”  It does not matter.  Saying the right thing in the right manner is more important.  The proper presentation of your message and talking points far outweighs any purity status of being an amateur.

You do have a message and a set of talking points?   Only kidding.  You had better seriously consider getting them – now.  Do you know what your message should be? Do you know what your talking points should address? You need a short speech, too. You better have the answers for a long list of FAQ – frequently asked questions or negative assertions.  This time it is going to be more difficult.  The heady days of post 9-11 are gone.  The cry from the small government crowd has become “I am mad as hell and I am not taking it anymore.”

Are you ready for some FAQ?  Okay, here are the rules.  I make the assertions or ask the questions and your job is to field them cleanly and put me out at first base - all in three short sentences or less. You cannot refer me to some book or website for the answer.  You have to do it all with your three sentences.  Remember, you are talking to the people who decide your pay, not your membership.  And do not say you deserve what you receive. It is a waste of breath.  Answer from your antagonist’s perspective -  “I am mad as hell.”

What You Must Deal With

1.      You are paid more than most  of us taxpayers                                                                                 
2.      Your 90% pension at age fifty is obscene
3.      The city can no longer afford your pension
4.      Your pension costs the city 45% of your salary
5.      You contribute nothing to your pension
6.      Retired police officers have second careers
7.      Police officers receive Social Security too
8.      Your department is the highest paid in area
9.      Your cost-of-living raises have exceed inflation
10.   You get another 5% with a step raise
11.   The two combined run about 9% per year
12.   No one else is getting 9% pay raises
13.   Why should we condone such obscene pay
14.   You have priced yourself out of the market
15.   We can have a police department for much less

Before you throw up your hands, let me tell you that all of these assertions and questions can be effectively answered and dispatched.  Remember three sentences or less – three short and punchy sentences.  Make them good, not the usual diatribe.  Make them convincing.  Forget about fairness.  If you would like your answers graded (free of course), send them to and we will send them back to you with your grade and our comments.

The POLICEPAYJOURNAL is published by POLICEPAY.NET, Norman, Oklahoma, 73069 (405) 701-8616

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tulsa - Police Cuts Spark a Debate on Public Safety -

Police Cuts Spark a Debate on Public Safety - "TULSA, Okla.—It has become a recession mantra: Do more with less.

Now, this heartland city is testing whether that's possible when it comes to public safety.

Since January, Tulsa has laid off 89 police officers, 11% of its force. That has pushed the city to the forefront of a national movement, spurred by hard times, to revamp long-held policing strategies.

In the crosshairs: community-policing initiatives created over the past two decades, such as having officers work in troubled schools, attend neighborhood-watch meetings and help small-business owners address nuisance crimes like graffiti. Such efforts are popular, and some experts credit them with contributing to the steady drop in the national crime rate since 1991."

Arbitration - Much Ado About Nothing


"They told me if I voted for Goldwater we'd be at war in Vietnam in six months — and I did and we were"

Collective bargaining arbitration is seen by employees as a savior from heavy handed management.  City management sees it as legalized extortion.  It is neither.  Arbitration is an inexpensive and expedited process to resolve disagreements.  It favors neither party, but it does require each side to use its head when making its case.  I have heard the horror stories of how some nutty arbitrator from far away imposed an unreasonable decision on a city fighting to stay afloat.

As one who has participated in many arbitration hearings, I can tell you that I have found arbitrators to be both intelligent and honest, even those that have ruled against me.  With few exceptions, arbitrators rule on the side of caution.  If there is any reasonable chance that an award would cause fiscal harm to an employer, arbitrators will side with the city.  I would too.  I have been a witness at arbitration hearings where I felt my clients should not prevail, but we did. There is one common denominator that was present at those hearings - arrogance and sanctimony.  The city had picked a "tough as nails" advocate that was spouting arrogance steeped in sanctimony. Such behavior destroys the advocate's credibility.  I hate to bust managements balloon, but God is not on your side.  He does not attend arbitration hearings.  If you see your side as morally superior and your employees as socialist thugs, you will probably lose before an arbitrator.  Use an advocate that is articulate and likable, not some venom spewing barrister.

Several years ago, there was a big movement in Oklahoma to pass an initiative to enact "right to work" - makes mandatory union membership illegal.  Man, that set off a firestorm.  Labor unions began warning that passage of the initiative would lead to low wages and sweat shops.  The chamber of commerce told us how right to work would cause businesses to move to Oklahoma.  Well, the measure passed and we now have right to work.  And the outcome?  Wages did not go down.  Factories did not become sweat shops.  Businesses did not move to Oklahoma to take advantage of our "slave labor" - we do not have slave labor.  In fact, one of our largest unionized employers, General Motors, closed its plant and left the state.  Obviously, they saw little value in our much heralded right to work law.  Right to work is way overrated by both sides.  Arbitration is way overrated by both sides.

Most of our clients operate in an environment of right to work and no binding arbitration.  Some of those clients are among the highest paid in their state, region and even the nation.  Some of our clients in the East with a closed shop and binding arbitration are way down the totem pole on pay.  We have been to arbitration and lost.  Without arbitration, employees must take the political route.

"War is a continuation of diplomacy using other means." Carl von Clausewitz, Über den Krieg

Some of my friends, management and employees, strongly disagree with my opinion.  I respect their opinions.  All I ask is that you examine the issue of arbitration without any emotional baggage.  To management,- even as onerous as arbitration may seem, life without arbitration may be worse.  To employees - you may find that you do not need a "shotgun wedding" to get a reasonable agreement.

Think about it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

St. Louis - Police budget: Furloughs, pay freeze, same number of officers

Police budget: Furloughs, pay freeze, same number of officers | St. Louis Globe-Democrat: "The St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners has approved a new budget that will not cut back on city police officers on the street but will mean no pay increases and unpaid furloughs for employees.

The $143.3 million budget was unanimously approved by a voice vote by four commissioners Wednesday morning at the commissioner’s regular monthly meeting. The budget goes into effect July 1, the beginning of the city’s new fiscal year.

“We will have the exact same number of officers on the street,” said Police Chief Dan Isom. “We will not reduce the number of officers so we will have 1,400 police officers in the police department for the next fiscal year.”"

Understanding POLICEPAY's Wage Surveys and Index

We are receiving emails concerning how we prepare wage surveys and the POLICEPAY Index.  Most, if not all,are coming from Vallejo.

From 2001 to January 1, 2006, we prepared a monthly index that compared police departments in the 200 largest cities in the United States.  It was based on the wage survey model we used in 2001. That model was used by us for the Chicago FOP arbitration hearing that year.  At that time, we did not included education pay and retiree insurance.

From 2001 2005, we supplied the statistics for a survey prepared by "The Blue Line."  The Blue Line only used selected items of compensation,

In September of 2008, we prepared a survey of the Vallejo Police Department using the list of comparable agencies that was being relied on for collective bargaining.  We posted the entire report and all supporting documents on our web site.  We left it up there for well over a year.

Some people question our methodology.  That is okay.  We question it all of the time.  Our surveys try to reconcile competing interest - availability of the data, the reader's ability to understand the data, and the justification for the time and effort being expended.  Are our surveys perfect?  No.  A wage survey is not a mathematical opus, but just a broad brush.

Some of the emails have asked why we do not count buy outs at the time of retirement.  We count it as it is earned.  Others ask why we do not count overtime.  Overtime is not a bonus.  You have to work more hours to receive it.  Below are screen shots of the two surveys that are being discussed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Chief Daryl Gates Dies at 83 - Los Angeles Police Protective League

LAPPL: "LAPPL responds to death of Chief Daryl F. Gates

On behalf of all of the members of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, President Paul M. Weber responded to the sad news that former Chief Daryl F. Gates passed away today.

“Los Angeles has suffered a great loss with the death of Chief Gates. Chief Gates was a truly devoted public servant who committed his life to improving the lives of others in Los Angeles. He was a man of courage and character who had a deep commitment to the rule of law, with a deep pride of the LAPD.
Read more..."

Former LA police chief Daryl Gates dies at 83 | Reuters

August 30, 1926 - April 16, 2010
"One Hell Of A Chief"

Former LA police chief Daryl Gates dies at 83 | Reuters: "Reuters) - Daryl Gates, the blunt former Los Angeles police chief best known for his handling of the Rodney King beating and 1992 race riots, died on Friday. He was 83."

Chicago Police Raises: Police Pay Raises To Average 2 Percent A Year For Next 5 Years After Arbitrator Ruling - WGN

CPD Raises: Police Pay Raises To Average 2 Percent A Year For Next 5 Years After Arbitrator Ruling - WGN: "CHICAGO - Chicago police officers will receive pay raises averaging 2 percent for 5 years under an arbitrator's decision released this morning.

The raise is significantly less than the one Mayor Richard Daley pulled off the negotiating table last year.

The City of Chicago had a 3.2 percent a year offer on the table before it was pulled off the negotiating table in March of 2009.

Under the new deal, officers will get retroactive raises of 6.5 percent, and the rest will be paid going forward.

Both city officials and Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue have press conferences scheduled for this afternoon to discuss the details of the ruling."

Stockton, SA - Layoff notices sent to 48 police officers

Layoff notices sent to 48 police officers |

"By David Siders
also by Christian Burkin
Record Staff Writers
April 16, 2010 12:00 AM

STOCKTON - City Hall issued preliminary layoff notices Thursday to 48 police officers and dozens of other employees to shed costs.

The city's financial outlook worsened this week. The administration Tuesday revised its deficit projection to $23 million - $9 million more than before - and officials expected this month or next to deliver a second round of preliminary layoff notices.

The notices issued Thursday would reduce the number of sworn officers from 367 to 319. Thirty-six full-time civilian police employees and 31 part-time employees also would be laid off, Police Chief Blair Ulring said."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

First quarter sales tax up in Oneida County - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch

First quarter sales tax up in Oneida County - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch: "The gross amount of sales tax revenue generated in Oneida County for the first quarter of 2010 is up 3.4 percent from the first quarter of 2009, according to a document provided by county Finance Commissioner Anthony Carvelli.

Before funding is distributed to the municipalities in the county, the total sales tax revenue for the county in the first quarter of 2010 is $29.1 million, according to the document."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Villaraigosa says revenue increase will keep parks, libraries open | 89.3 KPCC

Villaraigosa says revenue increase will keep parks, libraries open
| 89.3 KPCC

Surprise Revenue Helps Los Angeles Stave Off Crisis -

Surprise Revenue Helps Los Angeles Stave Off Crisis - "LOS ANGELES—After a week of dire predictions, city officials here said an unexpected $26 million of new revenue will help stave off an immediate fiscal crisis, but serious longer-term financial problems remain.

The windfall—the result of better-than-expected property-tax revenue and cost-saving moves—couldn't come at a better time. Earlier this week, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had warned that he might try to shutter some city offices two days a week in order to help bridge an estimated $222 million deficit in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. The city's controller, Wendy Greuel this week also warned that the city had been set to run out of cash as early as next month."

California revenue outpaces forecasts for 4th straight month - Los Angeles Times

California revenue outpaces forecasts for 4th straight month - Los Angeles Times: "Reporting from Sacramento — For the fourth straight month, California has collected more in taxes than expected, a sign that the state economy may be starting to recover.

But finance officials warned that any rebound is expected to be slow, and the revenue boon may prove less helpful at shrinking California's deficit than many in Sacramento hope."

California’s Revenue Tops Forecasts by $356 Million (Update1) - BusinessWeek

California’s Revenue Tops Forecasts by $356 Million (Update1) - BusinessWeek: "By William Selway
April 8 (Bloomberg) -- California’s revenue exceeded forecasts in March by $356 million, or 5.9 percent, marking the fourth straight month that collections topped Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget estimates.
The increase was driven by corporate income taxes, which exceeded forecasts by $516 million, or 50 percent, Controller John Chiang said a statement. That pushed the most populous U.S. state’s collections to $2.3 billion, or 4.1 percent, above projections so far this year."

The Associated Press: Wall Street ramps up hiring as profits rebound

The Associated Press: Wall Street ramps up hiring as profits rebound: "NEW YORK — Wall Street is hiring again.
Among those in demand: traders of exotic financial investments such as derivatives, and risk managers whose job it is to keep companies from repeating the reckless bets that imploded and nearly toppled the financial system 18 months ago."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oklahoma Revenue Collection Up Compared to March 2009 - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Oklahoma Revenue Collection Up Compared to March 2009 - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |: "KLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma's revenue for last month exceeded collections from March 2009, State Treasurer Scott Meacham said.

Treasurer Meacham says it is the first time since December 2008 that revenue collections have exceeded totals from the previous year.

'Based on the data that we're seeing, it looks like we can finally say that Oklahoma's economy appears to be on the mend,' Meacham said.

The state collected $401.3 million last month, which is about $6.4 million more than was collected in March last year, he said."

St. Charles County sales tax collections improve in February | Chas Beat | STLtoday

St. Charles County sales tax collections improve in February | Chas Beat | STLtoday: "04.12.2010 3:50 pm
St. Charles County sales tax collections improve in February
By Mark Schlinkmann
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Email This Post Share this Print this
St. Charles County government’s sales tax collections for February improved sharply over a dismal January. But officials say it’s too soon to make any firm conclusions – and that a recently-issued request for employees to sign up for voluntary furloughs remains in effect."

Sales tax numbers up for first time in 15 months |

Sales tax numbers up for first time in 15 months | "SPRINGFIELD - Effingham County sales tax revenues for March saw a nearly 10 percent increase over the same period last year.

In statewide figures, released Tuesday, net revenue collections for the month of March 2010 (FY 2010) totaled $998,239,000 compared to $987,986,000 for March 2009 (FY09), an increase of $10,523,000 or 1.0 percent."

Kentucky state revenue up 2.2 percent in March | | The Courier-Journal

Kentucky state revenue up 2.2 percent in March | | The Courier-Journal: "FRANKFORT, Ky. — State tax revenues showed a rare month of growth in March, increasing by 2.2 percent compared with March of 2009.

The Office of State Budget Director reported Monday that the state general fund took in $652 million in March compared with $637.8 million in March of 2009."

San Marcos, TX sales tax revenues up 4.39%

San Marcos sales tax revenues up 4.39% | Hill Country Rambler: "From an announcement by the City of San Marcos:
City officials announced today that for the third month in a row, San Marcos has seen growth in sales tax revenues, with February collections increasing by 4.39 percent above last year.
The increase is $54,063, for total sales tax revenues of $1.3 million in February."

Springfield, MO - April sales tax increases from previous year

City April sales tax increases from previous year - - Springfield Business Journal Online - Springfield, MO: "The city's 1 percent general sales tax revenues increased in April compared to the year before - only the second year-to-year increase since September.

The city received $3.5 million in its April sales tax check, up 2.4 percent from the $3.4 million the year before. For fiscal 2010 to date, sales tax figures total $29.9 million, down 8 percent from the first 10 months of fiscal 2009."


Colorado Springs sales tax collections up for fifth month in a row

City sales tax collections up for fifth month in a row | march, collections, springs - Business - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO: "In another bit of good economic news, Colorado Springs sales tax collections rose 3.38 percent in March from a year earlier, the Colorado Springs Financial and Administrative Services Department reported Friday. It was the fifth consecutive monthly increase.

March collections reflect consumer and business purchases made in February. The March gain wasn’t as impressive as February’s 4.74 percent increase or a 6.82 percent jump in January, both compared with the same month a year earlier. Sales tax collections so far this year are up 4.04 percent from a year earlier."





Fort Worth leaders approve 4-year contract with firefighters | Crime and Safety | News f...

Fort Worth leaders approve 4-year contract with firefighters | Crime and Safety | News f...: "FORT WORTH -- The city signed a four-year contract with its firefighters association Tuesday, only the second labor agreement in the city's history.

The contract's estimated cost will add an additional $21.5 million over four years. The city's 900 firefighters, represented by the Fort Worth Fire Fighters Association, will get a combination of longevity raises and other increases that will average 3.3 percent a year."

Colorado Springs - Strapped City Cuts and Cuts

Wall Street Journal

Taking Small Government to the Extreme - "COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Like many American cities, this one is strapped for cash. Tax collections here have fallen so far that the city has turned off one-third of its 24,512 street lights.

But unlike many cities, this one is full of people who are eager for more government cutbacks.

The town council has been bombarded with emails telling it to close community centers. Letters to the local newspaper call for shrinking the police department and putting the city-owned utility up for sale. A commission is studying whether to sell the municipal hospital. Another, made up of local businessmen, will opine on whether to slash the salaries and benefits of city employees."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Polish President's Plane Crashes -


Polish President's Plane Crashes - "Polish President Lech Kaczynski and dozens of others in a high-level delegation were killed Saturday when their plane crashed on landing outside the western Russian city of Smolensk, officials said.
Russian state television reported that the Tu-154 jet crashed about a kilometer short of the runway on its fourth attempt to land in heavy fog at the Smolensk-Severnyi military airport, shortly before 11 a.m. Moscow time.

Reports of the number killed in the crash varied. Polish officials put the figure at 88, while Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations said 96 had died and Russia's Investigative Committee said the total was 132."

Russian state television reported that the Tu-154 jet crashed about a kilometer short of the runway on its fourth attempt to land in heavy fog at the Smolensk-Severnyi military airport, shortly before 11 a.m. Moscow time.

Russian state television reported that the Tu-154 jet crashed about a kilometer short of the runway on its fourth attempt to land in heavy fog at the Smolensk-Severnyi military airport, shortly before 11 a.m. Moscow time.

Reports of the number killed in the crash varied. Polish officials put the figure at 88, while Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations said 96 had died and Russia's Investigative Committee said the total was 132."

Friday, April 09, 2010

YouTube - Can Toledo police still strike?

YouTube - Can Toledo police still strike?

"Blue Flu" fallout continues : News : WNWO NBC24

"Blue Flu" fallout continues : News : WNWO NBC24: "Dan Wagner, president of Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association says�an�alleged 'Blue Flu' or�staged work stoppage by officers never happened.� “There’s no evidence that any of these officers that had called in sick on that date were not sick.� As a matter of fact there are a number of doctor reports that have already surfaced from officers that were sick,” said Wagner.� The police union president called the city’s investigation into the incident a “witch hunt.”"

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Blade ~ Toledo Ohio - "To Protect and Serve -- The Blade ~ Toledo Ohio: "To protect and to serve

LAW enforcement professionals threatening to break the law: Could there be a clearer statement of the contempt the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association feels for the city and people its members are sworn to protect?
About 60 police officers, most of them department veterans, took part in what the city called an outbreak of 'blue flu' this week. They evidently were protesting city government's imposition of emergency benefit givebacks on municipal employees whose unions have refused to negotiate voluntary concessions. The police union has been most militant in resisting even the smallest contract changes to help the city resolve its fiscal crisis."

Toledo Ohio - Labor Board Says There Was No Strike -- The Blade ~ Toledo Ohio: "By JIM PROVANCE

Columbus — A state labor relation panel Thursday rejected the city of Toledo's contention that the alleged bout of police 'blue flu' earlier this week constituted an unauthorized strike.

The State Employment Relations Board unanimously found that the city had failed to show that the police action was a 'continuous concerted action' and said the city should file an unfair labor practice claim. The city did that Thursday."

Layoff Plan Guts North Las Vegas Firehouse - Las Vegas Now

Layoff Plan Guts North Las Vegas Firehouse - Las Vegas Now: "NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The City of North Las Vegas could cut 16 firefighter jobs this week. The firefighter's union says those layoffs will put public safety in danger.

The firefighters from Station 52 near Losee and Craig would be hardest hit. The firehouse serves business and residential areas, including the Cannery Casino."

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

City of Toledo files with SERB over police action - 4/07/10 - Toledo News -

City of Toledo files with SERB over police action - 4/07/10 - Toledo News - "The city is fighting the blue flu. The administration believes most of the police officers who called in sick earlier this week were essentially out on strike.

A strike is illegal; it violates state law. The city hopes the State Employee Relations Board will consider this week's blue flu an unauthorized strike.
Whatever the reason 72 police officers called in sick Monday and Tuesday, there appeared to be no problems today. Only the usual handful took the day off." - Unions drop their push for pay raises, but with a catch - Unions drop their push for pay raises, but with a catch: "At a meeting held in Albuquerque's City Hall Wednesday morning, union presidents from the city's police and fire departments submitted their proposals to city council to help tackle a projected $66 million budget shortfall.

In their proposal, the police and fire unions are willing to do without the $9.8 million in pay raises promised to them in their contracts this summer, but at the same time, they're not willing to go along with Mayor Richard Berry's proposal to cut all city employee salaries by 3 percent."

Police union cries foul, says Pomona was deceitful -

Police union cries foul, says Pomona was deceitful - "Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Created:�04/06/2010 08:47:04 PM PDT

POMONA - Police union officials said they felt they were deceived by the city when an item about a study concerning the use of the Sheriff's Department for police services appeared on Monday's City Council agenda.
Rob Baker, president of the Pomona Police Officers' Association, and Robert Wexler, the union's lawyer, said they were told during a meeting in March that city officials had no interest in such a study.

Baker and Wexler were surprised to see the study on the council's agenda.

However, a vote on the study was postponed to April 19.

Councilman Steve Atchley said city officials weren't lying to the association."

Toledo Ohio - Talk of Strike

The Toledo Blade Online
Wednesday April 7, 2010

Police Union Weighs Strike As Last Option


Direct Link To The Toledo Blade Front Page


Dan Wagner, President Toledo Police Patrolman's Association

A day after more than 60 Toledo police officers called off sick, their union leader yesterday threatened a strike he knows would violate state law but said it is his last option to combat the Bell administration on forced concessions.

“We would take our chances and be heard in court,” said Dan Wagner, Toledo Police Patrolman's Association president. “We would go forward and let the city file charges.”

The union and Mayor Mike Bell have been at odds for months over a call for city employee concessions. Their impasse was broken last week when Toledo City Council declared exigent circumstances and forced union employees to begin paying the 10 percent “employees” share of their pension for the next nine months and contribute to their health-care costs based on a sliding salary scale.

Entire Article On The Toledo Blade Web Site

 Related Articles On Blade Web Site

• Mayhem followed 1979 walkout 04/07/2010
• Publishing pay is journalism, not voyeurism | 04/04/2010
• Regular shifts for firefighters | 04/04/2010
• Toledo's unions circle wagons over wages; 'Give me your lunch money' |04/02/2010
• Police officers denied bid to block givebacks 04/01/2010
• Webb, Collins say budget votes based on principles 04/01/2010
• Toledo budget balanced, but difficult work looms | 04/01/2010
• Judge denies Toledo police union's request for restraining order | 03/31/2010
• Bell rejects TPPA offer to hold re-vote on concession deal | 03/26/2010
• Toledo police union votes against pact with city | 03/25/2010
• Is Bell picking a fight? | 03/19/2010
• Police layoffs on hold for now; business owners, residents relieved |03/18/2010
• Now is a bad time to hike taxes 03/17/2010
• Toledo leaders delay police layoffs | 03/17/2010
• Bell's plea to Toledo council fails to gain budget vote | 03/17/2010

1979 Strike in Toledo

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Police officers, firefighters in Fort Lauderdale get raises

Police officers, firefighters in Fort Lauderdale get raises: "Pay raises are coming for Fort Lauderdale's public safety employees, the police officers and ranking supervisors, and the firefighters.

City commissioners agreed in a 3-2 vote Tuesday night to approve contracts with the unions representing those employees. They'll all get 2.5 percent raises this year plus a 2.5 percent salary increase that's classified as an increase in hazardous duty pay. Next year they'll all get another 2.5 percent raise, and 2.5 percent the third year."

Toledo residents safe despite low police presence - 4/06/10 - Toledo News -

Toledo residents safe despite low police presence - 4/06/10 - Toledo News - "TOLEDO, OH -- Reacting to an apparent blue flu in the Toledo police department, Chief Mike Navarre said, ' 'We're going to respond very methodically and very strongly to the action that was taken last night.'

Dozens of toledo police officers called off work overnight. Many believe this was no coincidence.

The mayor's administration says this was an organized pushback by members of Toledo's police union over concession talks. Chief Navarre wouldn't say if he thinks this is the last staged blue flu, but did say the city has contingency plans.

He also believes many of the officers who did come to work today did so despite facing a lot of peer pressure to call off. 'I went to roll call myself and talked to the officers and thanked them for being here.'"

Toledo Ohio - Officers Call In Sick -- The Blade ~ Toledo Ohio

A number of Toledo police officers called in sick Tuesday morning after union leaders representing Toledo police patrolmen and command officers walked away frustrated and empty-handed from contract meetings with the Bell administration.

A total of 37 officers called in sick for the night shift, Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre said.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Toledo - TPPA willing to accept concessions, city rejects - 4/05/10 - Toledo News -

TPPA willing to accept concessions, city rejects - 4/05/10 - Toledo News - "Toledo police say they are willing to accept concessions. It's the same deal the union rejected last month. After meetings this morning between union and city leaders, it seems like the city may be saying 'thanks, but no thanks.'

The mayor met with representatives from the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association and the Toledo Police Command Officers Association. The TPPA says it attempted to resolve the current labor dispute by offering its willingness to accept and implement the March 22 memorandum of understanding between the city and the union, the same exact deal it already turned down."

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Suttle Pushes New Police Contract Talks - Omaha News Story - KETV Omaha

Suttle Pushes New Police Contract Talks - Omaha News Story - KETV Omaha: "OMAHA, Neb. -- Mayor Jim Suttle said new efforts have begun to try to restart contract negotiations between the Omaha City Council and the city's police union.
The two sides have been at a stalemate for weeks after council members declined to observe new negotiations related to changes they made to the union's tentative deal."

Friday, April 02, 2010

Toledo Police union may be willing to work out concessions deal - 4/02/10 - Toledo News -

Police union may be willing to work out concessions deal - 4/02/10 - Toledo News - "Toledo city unions are beginning the process of fighting concessions imposed by city council.

There's an indication one union may be willing to reconsider its vote with regard to concessions.

Wednesday, a judge ruled he could not stop the city from imposing $2.5 million in concessions on the police union. So starting with their next check, union members will see about $250 less take home pay.

TPPA president Dan Wagner says, 'I think our membership or a good deal of them based there decisions on emotions last week.'"
. - Unions mull legal action over proposed cuts - Unions mull legal action over proposed cuts

Posted at: 04/01/2010 10:56 PM
By: Jeff Maher, Eyewitness News 4; Charlie Pabst,

The same day Albuquerque's mayor unveils his proposed budget for next year, unions are already talking about taking the mayor to court.

Berry released the proposal Thursday. It plans to nix promised pay raises for firefighters and police officers, instead making them take a pay cut alongside all other city workers.

Police and fire unions immediately met behind closed doors after the budget was released to discuss their next step.

Joey Sigala, president of the city's police union, told Eyewitness News 4 over the phone that the mayor is violating both police and fire union contracts by not paying out the raises outlined in writing during the Chavez administration.

Sigala says the unions will decide by next week whether to pursue legal action against the mayor. There's a chance the groups may just bite the bullet.

While announcing the new budget, Mayor Berry made it clear that the unions need to cooperate.

Berry said Thursday, "The fact is, if everybody doesn't contribute, then you have to do additional things, so we'll just have to see how the process goes with the city council and with negotiations."

Berry also made it clear that every city employee—including himself—will take a pay cut.

The proposed cuts average out to 3% across the board.

Sigala says the city's unions will be looking at their own budgets to see what they can trim so they don't have to take that 3% cut.

If the pay raises are axed, the city would save nearly $10 million.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Flint, MI - Police union leader says he's been falsely accused of threatening mayor : News : WEYI NBC25

Police union leader says he's been falsely accused of threatening mayor : News : WEYI NBC25: "Flint Police Officers’ Association President Keith Speer says he’s being falsely accused of threatening Flint Mayor Dayne Walling.

This after he made a post on his facebook page reading, “Here's the deal. Mr. Mayor, you get your 5 best guys. I'll get my 5 best females. We'll meet in front of city hall. Last person standing wins their contract offer.”

“It’s ridiculous,” says Speer. �“This was not a threat.”"

The Battle of The Buldge 2010

Thursday April 1, 2010
Cities Begin Final Plunder Of Wages

An organized blitzkrieg is now raging from Los Angeles to Philadelphia – Gainesville to Portland.  Protected by the fog of economic propaganda that covers our nation, cities are making their final assault on pay and benefits for this business cycle  

Today’s Wall Street Journal has shouted out the victory chant to the “small government” faithful in the grandstands. The faithful will not disappoint the WSJ. The last two quarters have seen public employees take a trouncing. The winners are downright giddy.  Not satisfied with going home with a  21 – 0 victory, management has now entertained the thoughts of a 50 – 0 massacre.  The second stringers will remain on the bench until the final gun.  The victors are hell bent on making a statement.  The WSJ is ever so happy to facilitate this quest for its benefactors – aka subscribers.

Toledo Ohio - Judge Rules With City

Court says state panel must decide contract dispute

Judge James Jensen won't issue a restraining order against the city.
( THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER ) -- The Blade ~ Toledo Ohio: "Toledo officials are poised to move forward with forced givebacks against the city's unions today after the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association failed to stop the city from imposing the cuts.

A Lucas County Common Pleas judge yesterday denied the police union's request for a temporary restraining order, saying that the issue was one for the State Employment Relations Board"

Santa Barbara, California - Police Plan Rejected By City

Daily Sound — Police union miffed over failed labor deal: "Santa Barbara police officers are feeling burnt after city leaders reportedly turned down a concession package offered by the police union to help plug the city’s impending $9 million budget shortfall.

The Police Officers Association (POA) put forward a 5 percent deal that included a suspension of vacation cashouts and larger employee contributions to retirement and health insurance plans, but the city council turned the offer down in closed session on Tuesday, said Sgt. Mike McGrew, the union’s president."


Los Angeles, Toledo, Other Cities and States Press Municipal Labor Unions to Cut Pension and Health-Care Costs -

Very Long Article Goes After Pay and Benefits - A Must Read

 "But with the city facing a budget deficit that could drain its reserves by summer, Mayor Villaraigosa wants to re-open contract talks with 45,000 cops, firefighters, librarians and other city employees in hopes of persuading them to contribute more to their pensions and health-care costs. His deputy chief of staff, Matt Szabo, puts it bluntly: 'Unions have priced themselves out of a job.'

Nationwide, politicians looking for budget cuts are confronting politically powerful unions that represent state and local government employees—15% of U.S. workers and organized labor's biggest stronghold."