Well it appears that the boys from FOP took a stand. They refused to obey a direct order to qualify and thus the department took action to strip them.
THE CONTRACT, UNDER ATTACK!! 08/18/08
On 15 August 2008, at 1715 hours, the Department stripped Greg Bella, Sid Davis, Bill Dougherty and Tim Fallon. This unprecedented action was taken by the Department because these union officers refused to comply with a Department order to qualify with their firearms. Why would we take this stance?
The Collective Bargaining Agreement, Section 17.2 Leave from Duty, states in part, “In addition to the Lodge President, six (6) officers covered by this Agreement shall, upon written request, be granted leave from their duties from the employer for the purpose of performing full time duties for the Lodge.”
We are on leave from the Department and working for the Union representing all officers below the rank of sergeant. We are not paid by the City; we are paid by the membership. We do have bosses, the 11,600 men and women who are members of this Union. This is to whom we answer, not to Weis, Brust, Kirby or Skahill. Not yesterday, not today and not tomorrow.
We have filed a grievance over this issue and the arbitration is set for a hearing on 29 August 2008 before Arbitrator Benn. So why, after an arbitrator has been picked and an arbitration date set, would the Department take action to strip the officers of this Union? Would not sensible people have waited until the arbitrator rules and then take the action ordered by the arbitrator?
This is a direct attack on our Union; can the Department order us not to represent a member? Can the Department order us not to enforce the contract? The answer is NO! At this time we have filed an injunction against the City over this matter and we will only respond to the ruling of an arbitrator or the courts.
What effect will this have on contract negotiations? What impact will this have on programs the Department is trying to roll out and they need consent of this Union? We think the answer is obvious to everyone except those in charge.
Good luck boys! The exempts that signed off on this need to be launched.