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Another small town screws it's police


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  • Another small town screws it's police

    How's this for a 'Merry Christmas'?

    Officers file grievance

    Village of Pewaukee police face Christmas without a 27th paycheck
    By Kay Nolan

    Special to the Journal Sentinel
    Posted: Dec. 22, 2004

    Village of Pewaukee - Police officers filed a grievance Wednesday against the village, which they say is shortchanging them two weeks pay because of a variation in this year's calendar.

    Terry Grabow, a 27-year veteran of the department and president of the Pewaukee Policemen's Association, said Wednesday that he immediately filed a grievance with Police Chief Edward Baumann after receiving a memo from Village Administrator Scott Gosse that said the village "has paid members of the Association all wages, incentive pay and educational credit pay owed to them" under terms of their union bargaining agreement.

    Baumann said he would move to deny the grievance so that it would proceed to the Village Board for action. Village trustees discussed the situation in a closed session during their regular meeting Tuesday evening but said nothing after returning to an open session.
    All Gosse would say after the meeting was: "The board was not asked to take any action. As far as the village is concerned, the (police) contract obligation has been met to date."

    Police officers are unhappy because they will not see another paycheck until Jan. 14. They are normally paid every other Friday - or 26 pay periods per calendar year. But this year, there are 27 pay periods, a situation that occurs every 11 years.

    Grabow said the last paycheck was dated Dec. 17. It covers hours worked from Nov. 29 through Dec. 12. Officers' first paycheck of the year came on Jan. 2 and covered hours worked in 2003. The Dec. 17 paycheck, then, became their 26th of the year. Instead of receiving a paycheck on Dec. 31, officers will have to wait until Jan. 14 to receive the first paycheck of 2005. It will cover the pay period from Dec. 27 through Jan. 9.

    As far as the officers are concerned, they will be working from Dec. 13 through Dec. 26 without pay.

    "It's just sad," said Officer Duane Hachtel, a 20-year veteran of the department. "It's Christmas, and we're not getting paid. In all my years here, this is the only thing that has really upset me."

    On Tuesday, Grabow asked trustees and village officials before the closed session to reconsider. "On the dark of Christmas Eve and the cold of Christmas morning, while you're sleeping, your Pewaukee police officers will be working without pay," he said. "We are not salaried employees, we are hourly employees; therefore, we will work two weeks without pay."

    Grabow said that in 1982 and 1993, when the calendar year also had 27 pay periods, police got paid every two weeks. "The people who were in charge then did the right thing," he said. "I have worked for the department for 27 years, and I have always gotten a paycheck every two weeks. Honestly, I think the powers-to-be did the budget this year at 26 paychecks, and now they're not sure how they will pay for the 27th paycheck. They're going to balance their budget on the backs of the police officers."

    Village Clerk/Treasurer Susan Atherton said the police contract spells out an annual "salary" for each patrol officer position, which she divided into 26 equal paychecks for each officer.

    But Grabow said the police department's 11 patrol officers, whose pay rates of about $19 to about $25 per hour are governed by a union contract, are considered hourly employees and are eligible for overtime pay.

    Five administrative police staff members, including the chief, are non-union, salaried employees whose 2004 wages were divided into 27 paychecks instead of 26. "I've been on both sides of the situation," said Baumann, a 30-year veteran of the force. "My concern as an administrator is that I don't want to see this become an issue that costs the village more than it needs to because of litigation."

    Village Attorney Mark Blum said after Tuesday's meeting that it was too soon to know whether litigation would cost taxpayers more than giving police officers one more paycheck. Village officials declined to say how much it would cost the village to issue the 27th paycheck.
    Trustees said little about the situation Wednesday.

    "I'm going to have to say, 'No comment,' " Trustee Chuck Nichols said. "This is a particularly sensitive matter because it may involve a grievance."

    "I have to go along with what the administrator says, because that's according to the contract," Trustee Louise Hillen said. "Everybody seemed to feel the same way."
    I'm glad I don't work for this agency, but this is just outrageous. It never ceases to amaze me how small-minded and petty suburban administrators can be. And how spineless some trustees are. The Chief is right. This will cost them far more in civil litigation, than if they just paid out the wages owed.

    I think a recall campaign might be in order.

  • #2
    Scrooge them!


    We are the thin blue line
    between you
    and all the money in the world.

    And no you can't have any.


    • #3
      Such petty bull**** ALWAYS backfires.

      Right now, my Chief is putting on a full-court press to fire a guy on completely baseless charges, and most of us think that the guy will get fired.

      If that happens, the "diplomatic immunity" enjoyed by our local politicians stops immediately. The Boston Herald will have a field day reporting the OUI arrests of City Councilors, State Representatives, State Senators, members of the US Congress, etc.
      Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides


      • #4
        I'd be calling in sick for about 2 weeks if I worked for them...
        "I assume you all have guns and crack."


        • #5
          Originally posted by Badgerland
          I'd be calling in sick for about 2 weeks if I worked for them...
          I'd do the same thing.


          • #6


            • #7

              I wish I could say this was surprising. Petty BS is the first thing that comes to mind when I think ADMIN.

              The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.-Ulysses S. Grant


              • #8
                Number one they can't legally do that ... they must have a pure idiot for a city attorney.


                • #9
                  If I'm not getting paid, I'm not coming to work.


                  • #10
                    Isn't it flu season?
                    Truth fears no trial.


                    • #11
                      About a month ago, someone apparently brought it up at City Council here about them exploring what it would cost to disband the City Police here and contract with the RCMP to provide policing. Naturally, that hit the local news and although the City members SAY they don't hold it against us, it certainly does not help our relationship with them.

                      Last week I was in another city, working a joint traffic enforcement project between my Unit and the City Police traffic member. The City Police member mentioned that his City Council was ALSO talking about considering exploring disbanding his force and contracting with mine.

                      The difference between the 2 cities is that the 2nd one actually fired some new hires last year due to budget cuts. Both City Police forces are in negotiations for their contracts.
                      #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                      Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                      RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                      Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                      "Smile" - no!


                      • #12
                        Small town screws it's police

                        Okay, I'm not a lawyer,but I've got a couple of questions. Have you Guys considered going to Federal Wage and Hour? Does your union have an attorney on retainer? Sounds like you're getting screwed. Hope you win this one,big time. Good luck.


                        • #13
                          NO PAY NO WORK I feel so sick right now.


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