Lets be honest here, the city hasn't made us an offer, they have given us an ultimatum.
They are offering a select group of members a benefit that they themselves have claimed would be a money saver for the city.
The city of Chicago and the Fraternal Order of Police have agreed on a change that will allow officers to retire five years earlier with full medical benefits--providing millions of dollars in savings to the city during the current budget crisis, officials said.Chicagobreakingnews.com July 22, 2009
However, it is incumbent upon us to accept a contract with an offer of, no raise, a fitness test to be promoted to sergeant and alcohol testing on and off duty with levels far below federal standards.
We have been without a contract for 2+ years and this is what the city deems their best offer.
A small portion of our membership would benefit from the retire at 55 and no medical cost. What about the rest of us? This is not a contractual benefit and therefore no guarantee that after 3 years it would even exist.
We have a "me too clause" with or without this contract. An arbiter may award us more than the FOP and he may not. He may agree that the fitness test is not unreasonable and may agree that it is. He may allow for random alcohol testing and he may not. He may also deem that the city has not negotiated in good faith and award us what we asked for and then again he may not.
Like most of you I have a few more than 3 years to go and I'll take my chances that arbitration and "me too" will garner us much better than what we have been offered.