In April of 2009 rank and file police officers working in the Phoenix Police department’s Public Affairs Bureau were informed by their Commander that officer positions within the bureau would be eliminated. It was communicated to the officers holding PIO slots that there were concerns about certain liabilities with them working in the bureau since they were PLEA members. The PIO officer postitions were ultimately eliminated with officers later being told it was due to budget concerns. This in and of itself was concerning for two reasons.
- Management within the bureau changed their story on why officers were being removed and,
- If budget concerns were the true reason to eliminate postitions it would have made far more sense to eliminate sergeant positions rather than officer positions.
PLEA filed a grievance in this matter on behalf of one of the involved officers citing MOU violations as well as unfair treatment. The matter could not be resolved within the department to the satisfaction of PLEA and the involved member and the case was ultimately taken before the Phoenix Employment Relations Board (PERB). The employee was represented at PERB by PLEA’s legal counsel, Mr. Michael Napier.
The hearing officer and the complete PERB board ultimately agreed that the officers MOU rights had been violated and subsequently issued a written cease and desist order to the city. It was also strongly recommended that the officer be re-instated back to their former position as a PIO in the Public Affairs Bureau.
CLICK HERE to read the notice to employees posted by the PERB board.