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Lexington KY granted collective bargaining

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  • Lexington KY granted collective bargaining

    Been gone awhile, but I'm back now. I guess I should reintroduce myself. I'm a police officer with the Lexington- Fayette Urban County Division of Police and have been with them for almost seven years. I used to check out this forum and post quite regularly, but I've been busy for about the last year on a bunch of stuff and drifted away.

    Anyway, I've got a question for all of you officers out there. The Kentucky General Assembly passed a bill two weeks ago granting police officers who work for "Urban- County governments" the right to collective bargaining. Since Lexington- Fayette County is the only Urban County government in KY, the law applies to my department only. A companion bill granting collective bargaining to "merged governments" gave collective bargaining to Louisville Metro. It's a goofy system we have in KY, but it's worked in my favor this time.

    Our law is pretty good. It doesn't include binding arbitration because the Republicans in the General Assembly wouldn't go that far, but it does include a mediation clause that I think will be strong enough to get the city to come to a deal instead. Unlike most places where a private mediator is chosen to negotiate between the city and the union, our bill calls for mediation to be run through the state department of labor. The last thing our corrupt and shady city officials are going to want is for some state regulator to come into Fayette County and start going through their books during fact finding.

    My department now has to pick our bargaining agent. We have a FOP lodge that up to this point has been a fraternal organization only. The lodge worked very hard to get our bill through the General Assembly and I have to give our lodge president credit for that. The obvious choice for our bargaining agent would seem to be the FOP. However, there are some significant concerns with our lodge. For one thing, it is an open lodge which allows officers from many different agencies into it instead of being exclusive to Lexington PD officers only. None of these other agencies are covered by the new law.
    The lodge has also been dominated by retired officers and there are a lot of bad feelings between the new officers and the old ones. The executive board is made up of four active police officers and seven retirees, including the president. The leadership of the lodge has never gone out of it's way to welcome new members and treats many of the younger officers with contempt. I'm sure some of you out there belong to lodges that are the same way. Although 90% of us in the police department belong to the lodge for the legal insurance, probably less than 10% of us regularly attend the monthly meetings. There is a lot of suspicion and mistrust among the active officers of the motives of the executive board.

    I would like to give the FOP a chance to be the bargaining agent, but only if they'll do it right. In my opinion that means they will have to set up a seperate labor council that is independent of the executive board and made up of representatives chosen by election from the ranks of the active officers. If they won't do this, then I believe we'll have to find another organization. Just because the FOP brought us to the prom doesn't mean we have to go home with them. The law doesn't take effect until July, so we've got time to find another date.

    What bargaining organizations are your agencies represented by and what is your opinion of them? I've been looking at the websites of the Southern States PBA, the POA, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (AFL/CIO), and the Teamsters. If we don't go with the FOP, I would rather see us with a 'police only' organization like the PBA rather than the AFL/CIO or Teamsters.
    It is good to hate the French. -Al Bundy

  • #2
    My dept has OE3. Seems like a good deal, they will go to the table here for us soon.

    :http://www.oe3.org/
    Brutality is when we hit back.
    -Unknown Officer

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    • #3
      In my opinion the Fraternal Order of Police is the only bargaining unit a law enforcment agency should ever use. It's cops that understand how this works and they know what they are doing and you as an officer belong to the best and most respected brotherhoods there is in any business.

      Anyway congratulations on becoming part of the 21s century and no longer being part of the dark ages of law enforcement management !!

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