Posts Tagged Metropolitan Alliance of Police

Layoffs may come to Matteson (more)

Excerpts from a Southtown Star article on the possible layoffs coming to Matteson:

The police and firefighter unions in Matteson officially have responded to the village administration’s request to negotiate over recently announced plans to lay off half of the police force and a quarter of the firefighter-paramedics by Feb. 20.

The unions’ contracts with the village give them the “ability for critical input,” village administrator Brian Mitchell said last week in citing Matteson’s $8 million budget deficit as the reason for the proposed layoffs. He said the village plans to save $1.5 million by laying off 13 police officers and $1.2 million by laying off eight firefighter-paramedics.

Ray Violetto, the Metropolitan Alliance of Police representative for the Matteson officers, said the union responded to the village Friday, while Scott Gilliam, president of the Associated Firefighters of Matteson, said it responded Monday. Gilliam said the firefighters’ union wants more information about the village’s financial situation in advance of any meeting. Violetto said he wasn’t authorized to elaborate on his union’s strategy but hoped village officials would get back to the unions soon on the next steps.

The village’s Tuesday deadline for the unions to respond followed Monday night’s village board meeting where many in a large crowd questioned the need for the layoffs and urged trustees to find areas of the budget other than public safety to make cuts. The planned layoffs were not on the meeting agenda.

… a major unanswered question is “why are firefighters and police the first to be cut?” No one in the administration has explained what other cutbacks, if any, are planned.

Gilliam and Violetto said the public works department hired Trustee Bridget Dancy’s husband two weeks ago. A call seeking comment from that department was directed back to Mitchell’s office.

Gilliam said he didn’t understand the village’s logic in cutting its first responders because it “goes against common sense.”

“If these layoffs take place, there will be a snowball effect,” said Violetto, who has more than 28 years of law enforcement experience. “You’re going to have slower response times and officer fatigue because they’ll be doing a lot more work than they had in the past.”

Village officials sought voter approval Nov. 4 for home-rule authority, which would give them more taxing powers, such as adopting a local sales tax, to raise revenue. They warned that defeat of home rule would force them to make layoffs, including in public safety, but voters rejected the change by a vote of 3,322 to 3,121.

Matteson’s failed attempts in recent years to save Lincoln Mall, which closed this month, and the steadily declining sales tax revenue from the mall, also contributed to the rising budget shortfall.

thanks Dan

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New contract for Arlington Heights FD

The Daily Herald has an article about the approval of new contracts for the firefighters and police officers in Arlington Heights.

Arlington Heights approved new three-year contracts with its fire and police unions on Monday night that include salary raises but also higher contributions from employees to their insurance premiums.

Members of both the Metropolitan Alliance of Police, Arlington Heights Police Chapter No. 510, and the Arlington Heights Firefighters Association, Local No. 3105, had already ratified the new contracts before the village board voted to unanimously approve them at its Monday meeting. The previous contracts expired at the end of April.

Police union officials reached the agreement after three bargaining sessions, while for the firefighter union it took six. Both new contracts expire on April 30, 2017, and were reached through the interest-based bargaining process, officials said.

Member of both unions will receive 2.5 percent salary increases on May 1, 2014, 2015 and 2016, according to the contract. Police officers will also receive additional holiday pay for one more holiday this year, bringing the total to seven.

Beginning May 1, 2015, members of both unions will pay 12 percent of their insurance premium contribution, an increase from the 10 percent they currently pay, according to the contract details. Police officers will also receive an increase in their equipment allowance from $200 to $300, while firefighters will receive an increase in their uniform allowance from $150 to $300.

Thanks Dan

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Village of Oak Lawn considers outsourcing dispatching (more)

More on the previous post about the Village of Oak Lawn’s Emergency Communications Center from a very lengthy article in the Oak Lawn Leaf.

It appears the Village of Oak Lawn will move to outsource the 911 Emergency Dispatchers to a private company on Tuesday November 26th, despite pleas by the emergency operator’s union, the Metropolitan Alliance of Police, to honor its existing contract. Oak Lawn’s Village Manager Larry Deetjen has recommended that the Village outsource the 911 emergency dispatchers to Norcomm Public Safety Communications, based in Leyden Township.   The village’s four supervisors in the department would be retained by the company.  The 20 union dispatchers would be terminated, but allowed to apply for their positions at a reduced salary.  They would also lose their pensions in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

According to Ronald Cicinelli, the attorney representing the Metropolitan Alliance of Police, the Village of Oak Lawn contacted the union only 38 days after agreeing to the 2012 contract and threatened to outsource the jobs unless the union agreed to concessions because of a “financial crisis”.

Cicinelli, in response to inquiries from the Oak Lawn Leaf, said that the Village of Oak Lawn Attorneys contacted the union “saying, in essence, that the village would have to outsource dispatching services if the union did not agree to help with the dire financial situation that it had not disclosed until approving the aforementioned labor contract.”

According to Cicinelli, the union officials and village officials met and the village attached a dollar amount to the financial crisis that the village claimed totaled $1.l million dollars.  “The telecommunicators (union members) were asked to submit concessions that total $369,000.00 to help alleviate the crisis, with the remainder of the shortage being rectified by increasing the costs to the towns served by the center,” said Cicinelli…. the Village of Oak Lawn reportedly sent the other municipalities it serves through the 911 operating system, invoices with the increased costs.

The negotiations broke down further according to the union when the Village informed the union that the entire 3.8 million dollar budget would be spent by the end of July.  Cicinelli claimed that “it is obvious that cost overruns can be attributed, in part, to overtime created by supervisory personnel who no longer count as working dispatchers and the failure to replace three dispatchers who either retired or resigned.” According to Violetto’s letter, the Village’s Emergency Communications Director, Kathy Hansen requested in the last contract that the three dispatchers be called team leaders and not be counted in the manpower numbers to operate the room.  Violetto claims that the three team leaders are now administrative help to Hansen and questioned the need for three people to provide administrative help to the director.  The savings in returning the three supervisors to the manpower count would save the village $152,232.20 a year according to the union. Hansen stated department overtime through August 2013 stood at $124,855.  The union has claimed that the overtime is attributed in part to overtime created by the new supervisory personnel and the failure of the village to replace three open dispatcher positions.

At the November 6, 2013 budget meeting, Oak Lawn’s emergency communications director Kathy Hansen said that due to revenue lost from state-regulated phone surcharges as users switch to cell phones, the department is losing revenue while expenses continue to rise. Industry experts estimate that the total phones used in any municipality are split with 70% cell phone use and 30% landline use.

Currently, the telecommunications tax is only assessed on landlines.  The village received over one million dollars in the telecommunications tax last year.  If the tax is extended by the federal government as expected in the summer, the revenue to the village would exceed $2.3 million dollars thereby solving the problem. By outsourcing to Norcomm, the village claims it would save $446,000 a year for the next two years.

thanks Dan

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