On August 20, 2013, the Phoenix Employee Relations Board, PERB, announced their decision regarding the unfair labor practice, ULP, Case number CA-330, filed as a result of Chief Garcia’s unilateral decision to eliminate the Class D uniform. They took into consideration the Hearing Officer’s report and recommendation as well as arguments from counsel.
This case centers around officers who were forced to pay out of pocket for new uniforms after they had already spent their uniform allowance on Class D uniforms and/or accessories, which were eliminated as an optional uniform for Patrol on October 1, 2012.
This decision may ultimately cost the taxpayers of the City of Phoenix in excess of $1 million dollars in reimbursements to officers.
The point to be made here is that while PLEA recognizes that the Police Chief has the right to make decisons on what uniforms we wear, we believe that had he discussed and negotiated the issue with PLEA, we would have been able to work out some sort of a compromise, such as an extended wearout period. Clearly, the PERB ruled this was a “mandatory topic of bargaining” as it is directly related to the economic impact on officers as part of their total compensation package. Again, this is a prime example of what happens when there is no “collaborative labor-management relationship” and decisions are made without input from all the parties involved.
CLICK HERE to read the PERB’s report.
CLICK HERE to watch a KPHO News report on this issue.