Sunday, April 03, 2011

The "Gipper" Was A Republican, But He Was A Big Supporter of Public Safety

Dick Boyd, The Heart and Soul of Public Safety Collective Bargaining, With President Reagan


If it were not for this young Oklahoma City cop on the left, I would not be writing to you tonight.  There would be no POLICEPAY.NET.  I do not know where I would be today, but it would not be here.  I first met Dick Boyd at a meeting where the original collective bargaining law for police and fire in Oklahoma was being drafted.  It must have been about 1969.  I found him pushy and impatient, but from that first meeting, our lives were intertwined.  We worked together to get our collective bargaining law passed in Oklahoma.  It took two times in the legislature, but we finally got it signed by the governor in February of 1971.  I organized (mostly, the Tulsa and Oklahoma City firefighters organized) the first collective bargaining unit in my fire department - the Chickasha Fire Department.  Those were exciting times.

Some years later,  Dick and I began working together for negotiations and arbitration for police unions in Oklahoma.  I remember the first arbitration hearing we conducted.  On the way there, I said to Dick "We don't what we are doing."  He replied "The city doesn't know what they are doing either."

Most of what I know today about collective bargaining, I learned from Dick Boyd, the most important is the respect he has for everyone, including his opponents.  Dick truly loves his fellow man.  Steve Bukaty, a labor attorney in Kansas City, has said many times "What we need is another 100 Dick Boyds."  I agree.   The Republicans could use another Ronald Reagan.  I know, he fired the PATCO guys.  PATCO poked him in the eye and suffered the consequences.  Dick Boyd does not poke people in the eye.  He wins them over, including me.

Many of you do not realize that you have a giant among men on your team.  I would go any place and do anything he ask of me.  Maybe you have a problem with his strong ties to the FOP.  Maybe you are a member of NAPO, IUPA, IBPO, CWA, AFSME, Teamsters, CLEAT, or unaffiliated, forget about brand names and seek out this gentle man who is blue through and through.  Don't hesitate, time waits for no man.

Footnote:  I am not ignoring the influence and help I had from Jerry Atnip too.  I will talk about him later. - Ron