Recently the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a ruling that, although it did not overrule United States District Court Judge Marvin Garbis’ earlier decision, did say the Unions have to pursue a state law breach of contract claim rather than a constitutional Contract Clause claim to address the City’s 2010 pension legislation. Since the Fourth Circuit ruling, Judge Garbis sent a letter to both the Unions and City asking for an informal meeting to discuss settlement. In the meantime, the Unions have reached back out to the City and asked that we again pursue negotiations on a settlement.
Retro Pay – Members who Retired between July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014
The FOP has filed a class grievance on behalf of our members who retired between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 (or after) arguing that these members are entitled to the retro pay raise of 2% effective July 1, 2013. Most likely this grievance will make its way to arbitration which means another couple months before we have any resolution to this issue. We will keep our retired members apprised of any developments.
Contract/Patrol Work Schedule Implementation
The FOP has been meeting with the Police Commissioner and his team on a weekly basis to prepare for the transition to the new Patrol work schedule which is scheduled to be implemented in January 2015. Lt Gene Ryan and Sgt William MacDonald are the FOP liaisons to this working group and we will keep you apprised of any important updates/info as needed.
Copies of the new contract should be up on the FOP and BPD web within the next couple weeks.
The FOP has fielded calls with concerns from members across the agency who have been drafted to work overtime on the subsequent shift. While the BPD has the authority to draft, the agency cannot just draft for the sake of, there needs to be a specific operational element attached, such as officer safety when it comes to filling post cars that are unmanned. If you believe you are being drafted unnecessarily, contact your district rep and file a grievance at the Step 2 level. If you do not know your district rep, call the FOP at 410-243-9141 to obtain the name of a rep.
Health Care Costs - Health Insurance Committee
As part of the negotiated agreement two years ago between the employee Unions and the City pertaining to our health benefits, a Health Insurance Committee was established to allow the Unions to meet with the City each month and participate in any dealings with employee health care coverage. As a result of these meetings, as well as utilizing the expertise of a paid health care consultant representing the employee Unions, we were able to lower the projected 2015 CareFirst rates from increasing 4% blended for active and retired members to instead an increase of 2.16%. While this is still an increase, it is important to note that having the ability to check for material cost errors as well as keeping an eye on any surpluses that should be returned are all important factors for the Unions to limit rising health care costs on our active and retired members.
On Monday evening, August 25, 2014, nominations will be held for positions on Baltimore City FOP Lodge 3’s executive board. I will not be entering my name into nomination for any position on the FOP executive board for the 2014-2016 term and will instead request a return to the operations bureau of the BPD where I spent my entire career prior to being detailed to the FOP. I will address the membership again prior to my final term as your president comes to an end on October 27, 2014.