On Wednesday May 7, 2014 the Phoenix City Council voted on the ratification of several labor contracts. They also voted on whether to impose cuts on Phoenix Police officers. Out of five labor units who went to fact finding and arbitration, Unit 4 (rank and file police officers) represented by PLEA was the only group to emerge with a positive fact finder report. In this report, an independent fact finder jointly selected by PLEA and the City heard two days of testimony from PLEA and the City. After reviewing testimony and numerous evidentiary exhibits provided by both sides, the fact finder concluded that the City did in fact have the ability to pay. The fact finder recommended that the contract remain status quo for the first year i.e., no cuts to compensation and that in year two the City should restore the remaining 1.6% in temporary wage concessions still owed along with a 2% pay bump.
After a great deal more testimony, the Wednesday night session, which ran till 11:00 pm culminated in a vote where the council, after engaging in much political theatrics, voted to impose wage and benefit cuts totaling 2.5% over two years. The council has up to 7 days to reflect upon and reconsider their votes prior to the decision becoming final. PLEA is not optimistic at this point that that any of the five councilpersons who voted for cuts will reverse or reconsider their position.
Council persons voting NOT to cut wages and benefits were: DiCiccio, Gates, Waring, and Nowakowski. Council persons voting IN FAVOR of cutting wages were: Williams, Gallegos, Pastor, Valenzuela and Mayor Stanton.
PLEA would like to thank all of the many officers, supervisors, family members and citizen supporters who came out to show their support and offer their heartfelt and passionate testimony on this very important issue. PLEA would like the membership to know that the battle is not yet over on this issue and other options are being explored with our legal counsel. We will be holding a press conference tomorrow morning (May 9, 2014) at 10:00 am at the PLEA office.
Please view the latest video update message below from PLEA President Joe Clure and PLEA Chief Negotiator Will Buividas