It’s hard to believe, but the current contract that we are working under will expire in less than six months on June 30, 2017. Soon, a demand will be made to terminate that agreement with a request to begin negotiations on a successor agreement. We need the best negotiators to represent us.
For years, many officers believed that the Officers working at the FOP negotiated your contract without the aid of labor attorneys. This is not true. While, we need to have a capable labor firm at our side that knows labor law and our contract, there is also a need to have Police Officers with experience in the negotiations process at the table due to the unique aspects of our job.
The last round of contract negotiations resulted in the loss of many benefits in the areas of active and retiree healthcare, tuition reimbursement, the ability to take time off, and retroactivity for overtime worked. This seems to indicate that Dean Angelo’s negotiating team either had a lack of knowledge, a lack of inexperience, or an unwillingness to fight for us. Most likely, it was a combination of the three.
For the first time ever, we will be forced to decide whether to seek treatment at a premium care facility where we will now pay 25% of the bill or a regular care facility where we will continue to pay 10% of the bill. Where do you think there are better doctors and services? What did we get in return for this change?
For the first time ever, we will now have to foot the bill for co-pays, $20 to $35, every time we see a doctor. Even worse, these co-pays will not even go towards meeting our annual deductible. What did we get in return for this change?
Free healthcare for those retirees who retire at 55 will end before the end of this contract. What did we get in return for this change?
Tuition reimbursement was diminished. What did we get in return for this change?
Time due has now been restricted to 15% of available manpower in some units due to a Memorandum of Understanding that was attached to this contract. Who agreed to this?
Retroactivity for overtime, specifically FLSA overtime, was illegally excluded from part of this contract. Why would the FOP or its attorneys agree to this?
The Blue Voice team was assembled to give you the best representation possible. The Blue Voice has four candidates that have the contract negotiations experience, knowledge, and success that will ensure that we will not be taken advantage of again. The paragraphs below will demonstrate what our team will bring to the negotiations table.
Kevin W. Graham is our candidate for President. Kevin was the State FOP First Vice-President for four years. Kevin has assisted FOP lodges throughout the state with contract inquiries and problems covering numerous topics. Kevin has been involved in prior contract negotiations as the Chairman of the Lodge #7 Work Schedule Committee. Kevin is primarily responsible for the implementation of the 4 - 2 work schedule that the majority of us are currently working. Kevin worked diligently for almost a decade to accomplish this task. He has been the 023rd/019th District Unit Rep for many years and has challenged management more than they would care to admit due to his knowledge of our contract.
Rich Aguilar is our candidate for First Vice-President. Rich worked at FOP as a Field Representative and Financial Secretary for six years. Rich was involved in contract negotiations for the three contracts prior to the current contract. Rich worked side-by-side with Kevin Graham to obtain your current 4-2 work schedule. Rich was a part of the negotiating team that obtained free healthcare for members who retire at age 55 and the ability to attain top pay at 29 years instead of 32 years. Prior to leaving the Lodge in 2014, Rich was able to secure a new disciplinary process that is now included in your current contract. This process gives our members an added right to have their cases heard by an arbitrator prior to serving any suspension time.
Martin P. Preib is our candidate for Second Vice-President. Prior to becoming a Chicago Police Officer, Marty was part of a team that negotiated several contracts for hotel workers. Those negotiations were sometimes extremely bitter and the battles equaled or surpassed those of the FOP vs City negotiations. Since becoming a Chicago Police Officer, Marty has familiarized himself with our contract and will be able to bring his prior expertise to the negotiations table for your benefit.
Robert J. Bartlett is our candidate for Third Vice-President. Bob has been the SWAT Unit Rep for five years. Bob is knowledgeable when it comes to our contract and has represented his members well. Bob is also aware of Illinois Labor Law and filed an FLSA lawsuit on behalf of the members of his unit. When the current FOP administration illegally surrendered retroactivity for FLSA overtime during the past contract negotiations, Bob realized that something wasn’t right. Bob filed an FLSA lawsuit on behalf of all FOP members. That lawsuit has been resolved and the affected members will now receive 65% more retroactive money than if they would have been paid properly by the City.
These four members, along with competent legal counsel, would form a formidable adversary against the City in the upcoming contract negotiations. We cannot afford to leave these negotiations in the hands of the amateurs that have failed to represent you in the most recent contract negotiations.