ARTICLE WORTH REPEATING: Status Of Mediation Between The City of Evansville And Its…

first_img“ARTICLE WORTH REPEATING”Status Of Mediation Between The City Of Evansville And Its Public Safety UnitsBy Chuck Knoll-President ofFraternal Order of Police, Lodge 73Representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 73 and Firefighters Local 357 concluded a mediation on June 8, 2017 in an attempt to resolve the outstanding issue on wage negotiations. Per the Court’s award of December 6, 2016, the parties were to negotiate an agreement, which would accommodate both the police officers and the firefighters in light of the substantial changes made to their health insurance coverage.While the calculations made by the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 73 and Firefighters Local 357 show a much more dramatic cost increase than the City offered, both public safety units indicated to the City of Evansville, through the Mayor and his counsel, their willingness to accept the City’s cost figure as a wage increase, as called for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and as ordered by the Court. Unfortunately, the Mayor refused to negotiate other than delivering one offer in a take–it-or-leave-it proposal rather than work with the mediator to negotiate a satisfactory resolution for all parties.The pay for firefighters and police officers in the City of Evansville ranks a disappointing low for each unit of public safety officers. The Police Officers’ pay ranks Twenty-Eight out of all municipalities, despite being the third largest municipality in the State of Indiana. Pay for the Evansville police officers is in excess of $13,000.00 below the top pay of Hobart, Indiana. Firefighters pay ranks Twenty-Third out of the municipalities in the state as well. The firefighters pay is lower by more than $13,000.00 from the top pay in Indianapolis. Further, public safety officers in Evansville, Indiana face greater dangers with more shots fired and more homicides occurring on a daily basis. The City intentionally understaffed both the fire and police departments by anywhere from ten to twenty (10-20) employees over the past two (2) years. The City reallocated those funds, which would have been for public safety unit employees’ salaries, to fund a defunct hockey program, planning for penguins at Mesker Zoo, and funded other less essential operations for the City of Evansville.Due to the failure to reach an agreement despite months of litigation, we are now asking for the public’s assistance and support in this serious matter. If you think your public safety officers deserve better from the current administration, and that the administration should focus on negotiating in good faith rather than refusing to negotiate at mediation despite a Court Order to do so, please let your voices be heard. The Mayor’s office can be reached at (812) 436-4962 or online at evansvillegov.org.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

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