December 8, 2016
The Labor Commissioner for Baltimore City sent us a letter on December 2, 2015 advising that the City of Baltimore wished to reopen negotiations for a successor agreement to the current Memorandum of Understanding for both Units I and II which was due to expire on June 30, 2016. The letter also informed us that according to Article VI, Board of Estimates, Section 12, Sub-Section (b), the City was prohibited from negotiating a replacement agreement that was longer than one year in duration since a new Mayor would be sworn in during December, 2016. The letter further stated that as an alternative, the current Memorandum of Understanding could be extended for one (1) year, however, if the FOP desired to start the negotiation process, negotiations would begin in early 2016. The City of Baltimore contacted the FOP to start the negotiation process and the initial meeting took place on March 15, 2016 at which time, our counsel Herb Weiner inquired if the option to extend the current agreement was still in play. We were informed by the City of Baltimore that they would not entertain the request to extend the current agreement which was due to expire on June 30, 2016 for one more year but instead mandated that we engage in negotiations for a one year successor agreement.
The next meeting with the City of Baltimore took place on March 31, 2016 at which time, the City asked us to eliminate the 4/10 work shift for patrol and delete Article 16 – Discipline in its entirety from the contracts for Units I and II. It should be noted that Article 16 – Discipline prohibits the Police Commissioner from putting civilians on trial boards. The City did not offer us any additional money or anything else of value.
We met again with the City on May 4, 2016 and scheduled another follow-up meeting for May 24, 2016. The City cancelled the meeting scheduled for May 24, 2016 and advised that they would contact us to re-schedule the meeting. We were contacted at the beginning of September, 2016 to restart negotiations that had been broken off by the City at the end of May, 2016. We advised the City that we were in the middle of a Lodge election campaign and would be unavailable to restart negotiations until the first part of October, 2016.
On October 17, 2016, we had a meeting with the City who reiterated its desire to eliminate the 4/10 work schedule and replace it with a 5/2 schedule with permanent shifts and permanent days off. At that time, the City did not offer any financial improvements to the contract. Our negotiating team rejected the shift proposal and decided to survey the membership concerning this most important working condition. The results of the survey showed that 90% of our current membership in patrol want to maintain the 4/10 work schedule while 76% of those same members want the hours of the 10 hour shift adjusted. Most importantly, 82% of the patrol unit voted to oppose permanent days off.
We scheduled a meeting with the City of Baltimore for Friday, December 2, 2016 at which time, we planned to release the results of the membership survey to the City’s negotiating team. However, the City cancelled the meeting and we have not been contacted to reschedule same as of the writing of this update.
In closing, the FOP negotiating committee has made every effort to bargain in good faith with the City of Baltimore who has proposed replacing the 4/10 work schedule with a 5/2 work schedule with permanent shifts and permanent days off, eliminating the entire Discipline Article of the Memorandum of Understanding, and offering no additional money.