J urnal The Police Officers
VOLUME 32, NUMBER 2 • SUMMER 2022
ON THE INSIDE:
Executive Committee appoints new member – Pg. 2 Register for 2022 POLC/GELC Conference – Pgs. 4-5 Richard R. Weiler Scholars selected – Pg. 6 Unions welcome new units – Member News
VOLUME 32, NUMBER 2 • SUMMER 2022
Golden appointed to comrade’s term on Executive Committee — By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
Police Officers Labor Council (POLC) 667 E. Big Beaver Road, Suite 205 Troy, MI 48083. (248) 524-3200 FAX: (248) 524-2752 POLC membership: www.polc.org EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
CHAIR: Steve McInchak Flat Rock Police Dept.
VICE CHAIR: Brian McNair
Chesterfield Township Police Dept.
Oscoda Township Police Dept.
Leigh Golden Flint Police Dept.
Battle Creek Police Dept.
Caro City Police Dept.
Oak Park Public Safety Dept.
Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Dept.
Bloomfield Township Police Dept.
DIRECTOR: Robert Figurski Warren PD (Retired)
MEMBER SERVICES Christopher Watts PUBLICATIONS Executive Editor: Jennifer Gomori
ewly appointed POLC/GELC Executive Committee member Leigh Golden’s loss of a close comrade prompted some immediate changes in her career, including her recent appointment. The Flint Police Captain climbed the ranks alongside former Executive Committee member Collin Birnie, also a Flint Police Captain. Birnie was killed Feb. 4, 2022 when a driver struck his vehicle head on while passing other cars. Golden was appointed in March to fill the remainder of Birnie’s two-year term on the Executive Committee. “I was told that Collin had a conversation with other committee members discussing his pending retirement,” Golden said. “Collin had recommended me as a future member once he retired. After his passing, I felt that it was important to honor Collin’s wishes and accepted the offer from the committee to finish Collin’s current term.” The recommendation was fitting considering the Captains were hired and promoted in tandem. They attended the same police academy, graduating together in 1996 from Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy (LERTA). Both were hired as Flint Police Officers on Aug. 5, 1996 and promoted to Sergeants in 2003, Lieutenants in 2006 and Captains in 2014. Golden has been actively involved in Unions for over 25 years, starting as a 3rd Shift Union Steward of the Local Flint Police Officers Union. She became a POLC member when she was promoted to Sergeant in 2002. She’s been a Captains and Lieutenants Association Board member since 2010, having served as Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer. She is also President of Flint Police Benefit Association and 2nd Vice President of FOP Lodge #126. The Captain of the Criminal Investigation Bureau is the former Captain of Support Services. She’s overseen Patrol Operations Bureau and Criminal Investigation Bureau as a Captain, Lieutenant and Sergeant. She was assigned to Crime Analysis as a Lieutenant and Crime Area Target Team as a Sergeant and Officer. Golden completed Eastern Michigan University’s Staff and Command School in 2013 and the Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Institute at Central Michigan University in 2012. She earned her Criminal Justice associate degree from Mott Community College. Her top concern as a new Executive Committee member is helping the Unions steer Employers in the right direction to obtain quality public safety personnel. “I think an important concern now is recruitment and retention of officers to maintain staffing levels,” Golden said. “It is an ongoing issue at the Flint Police Department and many other departments across the state and country. Enhancing benefits and pay to help combat this issue would be an important step in the right direction.” d
Register today for the 2022 POLC/GELC Conference see pages 4-5
The Police Officers Journal
Watts takes on dual role as Rep, Membership Services leader — By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
hristopher Watts is able to juggle two key Union positions because he recognizes that all POLC and GELC members are stakeholders in the organization. Watts, who has been a POLC/GELC Labor Representative since 2016, recently assumed the additional role of Membership Services Representative following the retirement of Lloyd Whetstone from the position in late 2021. “I’m still taking care of several of my units and diving into Membership Services,” Watts said. Whetstone has an extensive background with the Union, serving many years as a POLC/GELC Labor Representative prior to leading Membership Services. “Lloyd did a fantastic job. I have big shoes to fill with losing Lloyd,” Watts said. “He was involved in police work 50 years. You can’t train experience.” The same could be said about Watts, who brings significant experience to the Union recruiting position. A POLC member his entire law enforcement career, the retired Mt. Morris Township K9 Officer served as Local Union Steward and President the last six of his 20 years with the department. He has worked as a MCOLES Training Officer, School Resource Officer, firearms instructor and armorer, and Field Training Officer. The former Flushing Township Patrol Officer and New Lothrop Village Patrol Officer was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. After retiring from Mt. Morris Township PD, he negotiated contracts as Chief Business Officer for STAT EMS prior to becoming a POLC/GELC Labor Representative. Watts’ new position involves recruiting units to join the organization, assisting with labor seminars, assisting labor representatives and setting up events. However, recruiting is not new to Watts. He has been sharing the many benefits of POLC and GELC membership with potential members years before taking on his new role. “Here’s my vision – When you talk about Membership Services it’s a team effort,” he said. “It will take more than one person to do what Lloyd did. I think that all of the team members in POLC and GELC should take an active role in recruiting. As we’re visiting with our current members, we should be constantly asking ‘Who else do you know that you would recommend our organization to?’ “I’ve had several guys who have reached out (about new units). We have a lot of lines in the water right now,” Watts said. “I’m just a cog in the machine. I think it’s truly more important to focus on the organization and the successes of the whole team.” While his job is to expand the organization, Watts said it’s critical to keep existing Union clientele center stage at all times. “I want to see growth, but I want to see positive growth. Sometimes you can grow too quickly,” Watts said. “We must grow as an organization. I don’t want to lose sight of current customers. Our customer service
is huge. We take pride in the fact that when people call us, we ans wer t he phone. We return calls.” A common complaint, especially among smaller units who lef t larger Unions to join the POLC and GELC, is lack of inclusion in decision making with their former representation. “Our membership is owned by the members and when you have members directly making the decision on how the organization runs I think it’s unbiased,” Watts said. “It’s the members running the membership.” “In the opinion of our Labor Council, there is not a unit that’s too big and no unit that’s too small,” Watts said. “We have units in every corner of the State of Michigan. A lot of groups we are getting are smaller groups. A lot of unions they left never made them feel like they were part of the team. The feedback I’m getting from new groups is they feel like they’re being heard finally.” He touts a variety of POLC and GELC resources when discussing the Unions, including: staff labor attorneys, NAPO and MAPO membership, along with the extensive backgrounds of Labor Representatives. “We have the vast experience of seasoned business agents that currently work here and we have several who have left that still stay in communications,” he said. “We have several resources to bounce communications off of.” With round-the-clock representation, the Unions’ Labor Representatives are always available when members need them. “We are a 24/7 operation, any one of us business agents,” he said. “If I have to work at 2 a.m., I work at 2 a.m. When you love what you do it’s not a balance, it’s not a job. When you love what you do it’s easy.” d
“I think that all of the team members in POLC and GELC should take an active role in recruiting. As we’re visiting with our current members, we should be constantly asking ‘Who else do you know that you would recommend our organization to?’ “ www.polc.org
2022 Annual POLC/GELC Meeting & Labor Seminar Wednesday – Friday
September 14-16, 2022 Park Place Hotel & Conference Center 300 E. State Street Traverse City, MI 49684
Attendance limited to registered delegates and invited guests only RESERVE ROOMS by August 15, 2022 to receive POLC/GELC discount:
Call 231-946-5000 and request POLC/GELC Block
Questions? Call the POLC/GELC Office: 248-524-3200
• Featured Speaker Will Aitchison discusses relevant issues to Public Safety and Public Sector Employees
POLC Business Meeting
• Outstanding Service Awards • POLC Business Agenda • POLC Board and Officers elections
Come join us for an outdoor Cocktail Reception, 8:30-11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14 and Thursday, September 15, 2022 2022 Delegate Registration:
Annual POLC/GELC Meeting & Labor Seminar Thursday, September 15, 2022: 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. 7-8 a.m. Complimentary Breakfast 1:15 p.m. Complimentary Lunch Friday, September 16, 2022: 8-9 a.m. Complimentary Breakfast – Conclusion
ARTICLE V (By-laws) DELEGATES TO ANNUAL MEETING SECTION 1. Each participating bargaining unit in the Labor Council shall be entitled to one (1) delegate to the Annual Meeting for each ten (10) members or major portion thereof in their unit, provided however, that each participating unit shall have at least one (1) delegate. SECTION 7. Any delegate from a bargaining unit that is delinquent in payment of dues shall not be admitted or seated at the Annual Meeting.
There is no fee to register this year. Please fill out and return this registration form. _____________________________________________________________________ Name of your unit and its current enrollment.
________________________ Number of delegates allowed
List names of all unit delegates here: (Please type or print neatly) _______________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ _______________________________________________
This registration must be returned before Friday, September 2, 2022 to: Police Officers Labor Council • 667 E. Big Beaver Rd, Ste. 205 • Troy, MI 48083-1413 4 • SUMMER 2022
The Police Officers Journal
2nd Annual Poker Run
For those interested in an alternative to the golf outing, a Poker Run will be For those interested in an alternative to the golf outing, a Poker Run will available from 3:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 16th with beverage be available 3:30 p.m. -‐ 7:00 p.m. Thursday, 15th with stops at somefrom local establishments – all while trying toSeptember win some $money$ beverage stops at some local establishments – all while trying to win some picking up a card or two at each stop. $money$ picking up a card or two at each stop. Call Nancy Ciccone at (248) 524-‐3200 Call Nancy Ciccone at (248) 524-3200 before September 1, 2022 to reserve before September 1, 2021 to reserve your spot. your spot. Members are responsible for the cost Members are responsible for the cost of drinks. of drinks.
24th Annual POLC/GELC Golf Outing 23nd Annual POLC/GELC Golf Outing
Spruce Run Golf Course Spruce Run Golf Course
at the beautiful Grand Traverse Resort provides a at the beautiful Grand Traverse Resort provides a scheduled diversion for attendees of the Police Officers scheduled diversion for attendees of the Police Officers Labor Council’s annual Business meetings in Traverse City Labor Council’s annual Business meetings in Traverse City on September 14-‐16, 2022. Reserve your spot now. on September 15-17, 2021. Reserve your spot now.
Four-person Scramble Four-‐person Scramble (Limited to first 100 golfers) (Limited to first 100 golfers)
Thursday, September 16, 2021 Thursday, September 15, 2022 Tee-off time: 2:30 p.m. Tee-‐off time: 2:30 p.m. Cost: $50 per person Cost: $40 per person Includes 18 holes with cart (non-‐refundable) Includes 18 holes with cart (non-refundable) Reservations guaranteed only when golf is paid in full. Reservations guaranteed only when golf is paid in full. Spruce Run Golf Course – Golf attire is required by the Spruce Run Golf Course – Golf attire is required by the course; all golfers must be in a collared shirt, walking shorts course; all golfers must be in a collared shirt, walking shorts or long pants. Denim jeans or denim shorts are NOT or long pants. Denim jeans or denim shorts are NOT permitted. NO tank tops, NO tee shirts, NO spikes. permitted. NO tank tops, NO tee shirts, NO spikes.
GOLF REGISTRATION FORM (Make checks payable to POLC/Golf) Golfers Names
______________________________________ _________________________________________ _________________________________________ _________________________________________
Phone # and Department Name
____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________
This registration September 1, 1, 2022 2021 to: This registrationmust mustbe bereturned returnedbefore beforeWednesday, Thursday, September to: POLC/GELC Golf Outing
Police Officers Labor Council
667 E. Big Beaver Rd., Ste. 205,
Troy, MI 48083-1413
The Police Officers Journal
Police cadet’s career takes flight as he follows in father’s footsteps — By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
acob Alexander Biek obtained a Criminal Justice degree, completed Police Academy, and works as a pilot and airplane mechanic in addition to starting his first law enforcement job. “He’s a pilot and he flies jets, not little single prop planes,” said Wayne County Regional Police Academy (WCRPA) Director Anthony Mencotti. “He’s instrument trained and he’s also a mechanic. He’s only 24 years old, but really a sharp guy. “He started to work at an airport when he was 16 and went up in a plane with his boss and fell in love with it. He went through school, got certified, and went back again.” Biek obtained his pilot’s license while in high school. “I fly a couple private jets around for a gentlemen I work for,” he said. “Eventually, I do want to fly commercial. I was looking at being a pilot for Customs or Border Patrol. I want to build up a little more experience before I do that.” The ambitious academy cadet graduated May 18, 2022 and was honored with a Richard R. Weiler Scholarship Award. The $500 award is given twice yearly at the discretion of the college police academy to graduates who have not been sponsored by any police agency. “Academically, he stood out. He was in the top 10 people in the class,” Mencotti said. “He’s pre-service which means he was paying his whole way in the academy.” Biek completed his Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree at Siena
Heights Universit y and earned the second highest score in Emergency Vehicle Operations. He was one of nine pre-service cadets in a graduating class of 54. “I thought it was a big help to get (the Weiler Scholarship Award) and it kind of surprised me that out of 54 people that graduated, I was Photo courtesy of Wayne County Regional Police the one chosen above other Academy people,” Biek said. “It meant WCRPA Cadet Jacob Biek received a Richard R. Weiler Scholarship Award a lot to me in that way.” during graduation May 18, 2022. He was hired as a full-time Cambridge Township Police Officer, a natural transition for the son of veteran Officer Martin Biek. “I started yesterday, but I’ve been a Reserve in the department since 2020,” Biek said, just a week after graduation. “My father was a Police Officer and he retired out of Dearborn Heights after 30 years. He decided to get a part-time job in Cambridge Township and he works in the schools as a Resource Officer.”
Macomb Police Academy graduate reaps rewards from six years of preparations — By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
ean McGregor was recognized for his hard work at Macomb Community College Police Academy, but he was quick to credit Academy instructors for his success after receiving the Richard R. Weiler Scholarship Award. “Honestly I’ve never shot a gun before this, so I came out of it feeling pretty confident with what they taught me,” McGregor said. “I came into it with zero experience to finishing in the top three.” McGregor was selected by the academy to receive the $500 Richard R. Weiler Scholarship Award, which is sponsored by the Police Officers Labor Council (POLC). The scholarship is given twice yearly, at the discretion of the college police academy, to graduates who have not been sponsored by any police agency. “It just feels great to be recognized for all the hard work I put in throughout the last six years of my life,” McGregor said of his law enforcement education and training. “I feel like a lot of people put in a lot of effort (in this academy) and to be singled out for that is really special. Honestly, I couldn’t do anything like that without the instructors at Macomb.” “Cadet McGregor stood out as a professional from the start of the academy and grew tremendously,” said Macomb Police Academy Director Michael Ciaramitaro. “He was always polite and respectful and is 6 • SUMMER 2022
expected to perform well in law enforcement. He also stood out academically, finishing second in the Police Academy.” McGregor, 24, was in the process of being hired by Troy Police Department before he graduated. He was one of 12 non-sponsored cadets at the beginning of the academy to graduate May 13 among the 17 graduates. McGregor earned an associate degree in Law Enforcement from Macomb Community College and a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University. “He was a top finisher academically and, in the firearms program,” Ciaramitaro said. Photo courtesy of Macomb Police Academy
Macomb Police Academy Cadet Sean McGregor received the Richard R. Weiler Scholarship Award at graduation May 13, 2022.
Member News Troy Police Sergeant retires with full benefits thanks to POLC intervention — By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
Troy Police Sergeant was awarded her full retirement benefits after the POLC fought the City’s denial of those benefits. The matter was settled March 30, 2022 when an Arbitrator ruled in favor of the former Sergeant, who had notified the City of her pending retirement Jan. 18, 2021. When she contacted the City’s Finance Department requesting payout for her remaining Sick Leave and to discuss her entitlement to retiree health care, the City Controller denied the requests. She was told she didn’t meet age or service requirements. The 43-year-old had worked for the City over 16 years when she retired Feb. 5, 2021. She was a Defined Contribution (DC) Pension Plan participant and had requested early retirement. On Jan. 27, 2021, the Union filed a grievance asserting the City violated the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) when it denied her Sick Leave payout for 480 banked hours which amounted to nearly $22,000 and denied her retiree health care benefits. At issue was the interpretation of language differences between City Code and the CBA. City Code allows for Deferred Retirement, Voluntary Retirement, and Normal Retirement. The CBA language allows for Normal Retirement, Early Retirement or Disability Retirement. On March 18, 2021 the City’s Human Resources Director denied the grievance stating the Sergeant’s Early Retirement was not equivalent to the City Code’s Deferred Retirement, “… because Deferred Retirement lessens and delays a pension payment for an individual,” the City stated. “The Grievant does not qualify for Deferred Retirement because she was not part of the Defined Benefit (DB) pension program,” the City further stated. The City argued the Sergeant took Voluntary Retirement, which requires Employees be at least 55 years of age and have 25 years of service and that she was denied because she did not meet either requirement. The Employer said she was not entitled to Sick Leave payout since it’s only made for Normal, Early or Disability retirement and she doesn’t meet any of those types of retirement. The Union argued the Sergeant’s separation from the City constituted an “Early Retirement” per the CBA, which is synonymous with “Deferred Retirement,” entitling her to retiree health insurance and Sick Time payout. The Union asserted the concept behind Early Retirement is broader than Voluntary Retirement and the City’s basis for denial was flawed when they said the Sergeant is not entitled to retiree insurance benefits because she didn’t participate in a DB plan. The contract states, “Upon Regular Retirement, Early Retirement or Disability Retirement, Employees will be eligible for health insurance if they meet the age and service requirements whether they participate in a Defined Benefit or Defined Contribution Pension Plan …” As to the claim Deferred Retirement “lessens and delays” a pension
payment, the Union stated it was meaningless as Employees taking Voluntary Retirement may also have their pensions lessened if they haven’t served 25 years. Deferred Retirement is not “delayed” as pension collection begins at age 60, five years after an Employee collecting under Voluntary Retirement and five years before an Employee under Normal Retirement, the Union said. The Arbitrator ruled in favor of the Union, finding the parties’ intent was to treat Early Retirement as Deferred Retirement. “The wording of the term Voluntary Retirement, as found in Chapter 10 of the City Code, begins with the following language: ‘Any member, who has attained age 55 years and has 10 or more years of credited service in force may retire…’” the Arbitrator said. “Contrast this language with the wording of the term Deferred Retirement which is found in paragraph 6 of Chapter 10 of the City Code which begins with the following: ‘In the event a member who has 10 or more years of credited service leaves the employ of the City before he is eligible to retire, he shall be entitled to a pension…’” “Unlike the concept of Voluntary Retirement, Deferred Retirement mirrors the situation of the Grievant in the present case,” the Arbitrator said. “On this very core principle, the Union has the better position.” The Arbitrator ruled since the Sergeant had 10 plus years of service, she was entitled to Deferred Retirement. The assertion she was not entitled to Deferred Retirement because she was not part of the DB program is “wholly contradicted” by specific CBA language, the Arbitrator said. He noted another contradiction to the City’s claim deferred retirees are not eligible for paid health care because the word “deferred” is omitted from the list of qualifying retirements. The City had said Voluntary Retirement entitled an Employee who retires at 55 with 10 or more years of service to retiree health care benefits. Yet, the Arbitrator said, there is no Voluntary Retirement language regarding such benefits. “The concept of Deferred Retirement and Early Retirement must be read as synonymous terms, entitling the Grievant to retiree health benefits when she reaches age 60 and for payout of her unused Sick Leave benefits at the present time,” the Arbitrator said. “… The City violated the CBA when it failed to pay the Grievant her unused Sick Leave upon her Early Retirement and the City is directed to make such payment immediately upon receipt of this Opinion and Award.” d
“The concept of Deferred Retirement and Early Retirement must be read as synonymous terms, entitling the Grievant to retiree health benefits when she reaches age 60 and for payout of her unused sick leave,” the Arbitrator said. www.polc.org
New Units Yale Police Officers move to POLC for stronger voice in negotiations — By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
ale Police Department may be a small, but they want to have a mighty voice at the bargaining table. That’s why they recently changed their representation to the Police Officers Labor Council (POLC). The eight-member group consists of three full-time Officers and five part-time. In April, they voted unanimously to join the POLC after previously being represented by Michigan Association of Police. “We wanted a strong voice for contract negotiations,” said Scott Sabada, City of Yale Police Officers Local Union President. “Everybody doesn’t think they’re getting paid enough, but that was probably one of the main reasons for (joining the POLC). Yale’s been traditionally on the lower end of the pay scale.” Sabada heard about POLC’s favorable reputation from a neighboring police department. “A real good friend of mine worked for Sandusky Police Department and they had nothing but good things to say about the (POLC) and we thought it’s just time for a change,” Sabada said. “He said their contract negotiations were pretty thorough.”
Between meeting with POLC Membership Services Representative Chris Watts and gaining the perspectives of other pleased Union members, they felt assured POLC would have their backs in bargaining as well as employment issues that arise. “I felt confident in (Watts’) outlook for the new contract that was coming up,” Sabada said. “The number one thing I like is that the POLC has a great website and their own publication. That was a big help. It gave me a good reference regarding other departments and their experiences with the POLC.” He was also impressed that not only does the POLC have staff lawyers and support legal staff, but members have access to supplemental legal help through PORAC Legal Defense Fund. PORAC provides legal representation directly to officers who are criminally prosecuted, without a cap on their legal fees. Since their last contract expires in June 2022, POLC Labor Representative Jim O’Connor got to work immediately setting up meetings with the members to prepare for negotiations. “I’ve got full confidence in the POLC,” Sabada said. d
POLC provides Birmingham Command a fresh perspective in changing times — By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
irmingham Command Officers were with their former union for over two decades, but major economic changes coupled with significant changes to law enforcement in recent years propelled them toward making a change of their own. The seven-member unit parted ways with Command Officers Association of Michigan (COAM) and joined the POLC in April 2022. “We just felt at this stage, with all the changes that are out there, it’s just a good time to check the market to see what fits our union and our issues,” said Birmingham Commander Chris Koch, President of the Local Command Union. Koch said his group was impressed by the Police Officers Labor Council (POLC) presentation to their unit.
“Chris really has taken a close look at our contract and brought up a bunch of stuff we really need to focus on, areas we need to consider,” Koch said. “He took the time to listen to our needs and provide the best solutions moving forward with our contract concerns.”
“The majority of the (Local) Union felt the best fit for Command was the POLC,” Koch said. “I think the presentation provided to them and the information given out really hit home with them. A lot of the feedback I got was they were very impressed with what (POLC Research Analyst) Nancy (Ciccone) brought to the table. The work she does comparing neighboring departments and putting together the paperwork, just having that resource available to us is fantastic.” With their contract expiring the end of June 2022, POLC Labor Representative Chris Hild immediately began arranging negotiation meetings with their Employer. “I’m just jumping right into negotiations with them,” Hild said. Hild’s expertise in labor relations gave the group the fresh perspective they needed on their existing bargaining agreement. “When you’re with a union so long, you don’t go back and look at the older contract issues that might not even be relevant anymore,” Koch said. “It was nice to have someone do an overview and say these are relevant items and these are not relevant issues. “Chris really has taken a close look at our contract and brought up a bunch of stuff we really need to focus on, areas we need to consider,” Koch said. “He has quite a bit of knowledge about our contract. He asked about areas he wasn’t familiar with, asking why things were in there. Continued on page 9
8 • SUMMER 2022
Losses during 10-year contract prompt Huron-Clinton Metroparks Police to join POLC — By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
he last contract the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Police signed was a decade-long deal. With a devastating change in their contract terms and the loss of staff, they sought new representation with the POLC. “Basically, we felt that we were not getting the representation. We signed a 10-year contract and for 10 years nothing was really done,” said Doug Fulton, who was Huron-Clinton Metroparks Police Local Union President when the group voted to join the POLC. “We never heard a peep out of anyone (from the Union). We didn’t receive contact from them until they got the notification from MERC that we were looking to change Unions. Then all of a sudden we had the attention of everybody and it was just too late.” The 38-member unit, which patrols 13 Metroparks, had been represented by the Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM) for over 20 years. They joined the Police Officers Labor Council in May 2022 with their contract set to expire in January 2023. The Metroparks unit will be represented by POLC Labor Rep. Chris Hild. “We are extremely excited to have the Metroparks join POLC and look forward to working with their bargaining team to address their needs,” Hild said. “Communication is the key to success, and we will be transparent with our membership, so they understand the direction we want to go.” Fulton joined the Metroparks Police full-time in May 2021 after working part-time for them until his retirement from Argentine Township Police Department. “I came in and this bargaining unit was in shambles,” Fulton said. “There was very, very important language given away having to do with promoting from the outside instead of inside. It was never ratified. The union knew this and still allowed it to happen. It was time to get a new union.” Of the 21 bargaining members who voted on the union change, 20 voted in favor of the POLC. “I know only 21 voted, but we had a lot of guys that were leaving so they didn’t care,” Fulton said. “We’ve lost six or seven guys in the last month.” Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority Police Officers have been leav-
Fresh perspective continued from page 8
He took the time to listen to our needs and provide the best solutions moving forward with our contract concerns.” Koch praised the City for providing Command with great retirement benefits. “As you get into Command, the guys are getting older and looking toward the future of retirement,” Koch said. “They have taken care of us, providing good pensions and 401K. They do provide a very stable competitive retirement program. We just want to make sure that it’s
ing due to issues with pay, morale and a lack of training, Fulton said. A couple officers took early retirements. Much of the low morale stems from the loss of the promotion language two years ago, he said. “Why bother staying when you’re definitely not getting promoted?” Fulton said. “They find someone on the outside who’s retired that has 30 years’ experience and you never get promoted.” Metroparks Officers previously had contract language stating the Employer was to fill full-time positions and any promotions were to be made from within the department prior to looking outside for applicants. Fulton said the Officers were unaware of the language change until they noticed outside job postings for positions that were not posted first internally. He said their former union representative had signed off on that change, which the Rep. denied. “It was taken away without any fight,” Fulton said. “The guys didn’t know about this until afterwards. This is something that will affect this department for years in the future. The guys now and the guys being hired in the future will have to pay for that.” After meeting with POLC Membership Services Rep. Chris Watts they were sold. “We liked everything we heard about POLC representing five-man departments or 500-man departments. The line of communication with Chris Watts has been amazing,” Fulton said. “I was in more communication with Chris Watts than our own POAM Rep. I didn’t hear a bad thing about POLC and I got everybody together and everybody decided it was time to go.” Hild knows how to resolve retention issues with Employers. “These are very difficult times right now with respect to recruiting and retention and we need to do our best at getting that message through to administrators while working directly with them to combat this crisis,” Hild said. “Every organization in law enforcement is now competing for a dwindling number of qualified applicants, and the Metroparks are not impervious to this dilemma.” “We’re going into the new contract negotiations with a new union and we’re excited about that,” Fulton said. “We’re looking forward to a good relationship with POLC.” d
secured moving forward when we make the transition out of police work. Obviously, with the rising costs of things, we want to stay in a situation that’s feasible for living costs.” Birmingham Command Officers feel confident they have superior representation as they enter contract talks. “I look forward to working with POLC and moving forward with our contract negotiations with the City,” he said. “Hopefully, it will be an opportunity to build a good relationship with the City of Birmingham and the POLC.” d
Member News Contract Settlements — As reported by POLC/GELC Labor Representatives
Allegan County Road Patrol Deputies, Road Command & Captains
CBA extension with wage increases only expires Dec. 31, 2026. Wages: 2.3% to 4.5% effective Jan. 1, 2022. 2.3% to 4.5% effective Jan. 1, 2023. 2.3% to 4.5% effective Jan. 1, 2024. 2.3% to 4.5% effective Jan. 1, 2025. 2.3% to 4.5% effective Jan. 1, 2026. *New wage step scale, eliminating two steps at bottom and adding new step to the top. **Captains and Road Command groups will continue to receive wage increases based on their existing differentials with this new CBA extension. Bargaining Team: Cory Hunt, Chris Haverdink and Scott Matice aided by POLC Labor Representative John Stidham.
Big Rapids Police Patrol & Detectives
New three-year agreement expires Dec. 31, 2024. Wages: 2.5% effective Jan. 1, 2022. 2.5% effective Jan. 1, 2023. 2.5% effective Jan. 1, 2024. *Employees with a college degree will receive an annual 2% pay increase. **Employees with 3 years or more police experience and up-to-date certification enter the pay scale at third step (the after one-year rate). After probation Employee receives the after 2-year pay rate. ***Employees with 5 years or more police experience and up-to-date certification will start at the 1-year pay rate. After probation, they receive the 3-year pay rate, which is the top tier of the pay scale. Fringe Benefits: Employees may work any combination of scheduled work hours and use leave time to equal the regularly scheduled work hours to qualify for Holiday benefits. Sick Leave may be used to make up the difference in pay between the Employee’s normal pay and what they are paid through Short Term Disability. Clothing Allowance established at $400 per Detective and CMET Officer. Manning & Safety: Employees receive an additional $1.50 per hour when acting as Senior Officer on duty when a Sergeant is not available. Employees with the least seniority within their classification will be laid off first. Employees will be paid a minimum of 2 hours for virtual and 3 hours for in-person court hearings. Employees called back into work at times other than their regular shift will be paid 1-1/2 times regular pay for a minimum of 3 hours or time worked. Formerly the minimum pay was 2 hours. Employees assigned to jury duty will be granted a leave of absence with straight time pay for hours scheduled to work, exclusive of any premium pay. If jury duty is on a non-scheduled work day, Employees will be paid straight time for all hours spent at jury duty. The Employee must give their jury duty payment to the City and will be reimbursed for the mileage portion of the court payment. Bargaining Team: Thomas Tanner and Miguel Galley aided by POLC Labor Representative Scott Blackwell.
Dickinson County Command Officers
New four-year agreement expires Dec. 31, 2025. Wages: 20% effective Jan. 1, 2022. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2023. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2024. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2025. *A wage study resulted in significant wage increases the first year of the contract. Employees received a 2% increase above scale each contract year. Fringe Benefits: Hours paid shall be considered hours worked for calculating Overtime. Uniform allowance increased from $205 to $400 per quarter. Health Care: Employees who waive health care benefits receive an increase in their in lieu of payment from $300 to $400 per month. Retirement: Banked Sick Leave payout increases from 25% to 50% at re-
10 • SUMMER 2022
tirement. Increase lump sum payment from $500 to $1,000, specific to previous MERS agreement. Bargaining Team: Derek Dixon aided by POLC Labor Representative John Stidham.
Dickinson County Corrections Officers
® New four-year agreement expires Dec. 31, 2025. Wages: 12.5% effective Jan. 1, 2022. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2023. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2024. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2025. *A wage study resulted in significant wage increases the first year of the contract. Plus Employees received a 2% increase above scale each contract year. Fringe Benefits: Officers participating in the Tether Program receive 2 hours of pay if it’s on a non-work day. Employees not notified of a canceled subpoena before 24 hours of the scheduled appearance shall receive 2 hours double time pay. Uniform allowance increased from $205 to $250 per quarter. Manning & Safety: Senior Officers get paid a premium of $.50 per hour when no Sergeant is on duty. Shift premiums increased from $.45 cents to $.50 cents for Afternoons and from $.55 cents to $.65 cents for Midnights. Health Care: Employees who waive health care benefits receive an increase in their in lieu of payment from $300 to $400 per month. Bargaining Team: Jon Allen and Carl Oslund aided by POLC Labor Representative John Stidham.
Dickinson County Governmental Employees
New four-year agreement expires Dec. 31, 2025. Wages: 2% effective Jan. 1, 2022. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2023. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2024. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2025. *A wage study resulted in wage increases up to 15% effective Jan. 1, 2022. Exact amounts were based on each Employee’s job placement in relation to wage study results. Everyone received a guaranteed 2% yearly additional increase. Manning & Safety: Employees On-Call at Ford Airport receive an additional $2 per day. Fringe Benefits: Banked Sick Leave payout increases from 25% to 50%. Good Friday and New Year’s Eve Holiday Pay increased from a half day to a full day. Health Care: Employees who waive health care benefits receive an increase in their in lieu of payment from $300 to $400 per month. Bargaining Team: Brenda Buchner and Amber Miller aided by POLC Labor Representative John Stidham.
Dickinson County Patrol & Dispatch
New four-year agreement expires Dec. 31, 2025. Wages: 18% effective Jan. 1, 2022. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2023. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2024. 2% effective Jan. 1, 2025. *A wage study resulted in significant wage increases of approximately 16% across the board. Plus a 2% increase above cale for each year of the contract. This equates to approximately 18% at top pay for 2022. **Dispatch wages were brought up to equal 80% of the Deputies’ wages. Fringe Benefits: Employees not notified of canceled subpoena before 24 hours of the scheduled appearance shall receive 2 hours of double time pay. Uniform allowance increased from $205 to $400 per quarter. Manning & Safety: Guaranteed a minimum of 2 hours of double time pay for being called into work from home. Health Care: Employees who waive health care benefits receive an increase in their in lieu of payment from $300 to $400 per month. Retirement: Banked Sick Leave payout at retirement increased from 25% to 50%. Bargaining Team: Chris Smith and Chris Kuenzer aided by POLC Labor Representative John Stidham.
Village of Kalkaska Police Department New five-year agreement expires Feb. 28, 2027. Wages: 7% to 13% effective for Patrol March 1, 2022. 3% effective for Patrol March 1, 2023. 3% effective for Patrol March 1, 2024. 3% effective for Patrol March 1, 2025. 3% effective for Patrol March 1, 2026. *Sergeants’ wages are 15% above Patrol each year of contract. **Lieutenants’ wages are 10% above Sergeants each year of contract. ***The range of Patrol wage increases for 2022 is due to each Employees’ step status on the wage scale. ****NEW pay category. Sponsored Officers at police academy shall receive $16.50 per hour. Fringe Benefits: Longevity Pay of $200 per year was changed to “Retention Bonus” of $1,500 each year. Field Training Officers receive additional $2 per hour or 3.5 hours of Compensatory Time for training, whichever the Employee choses. Emergency Medical Responder receives $2 per hour additional pay. Boot allowance increased from $150 to $250 per year. Health Care: Employees who waive health care benefits receive monthly in lieu of payment, equal to state hard cap amount (PA 152). Manning & Safety: Establish voluntary Physical Fitness Test based on MCOLES Exit Standard (with Shuttle Run changed to 1.5 Mile Run). Employees who successfully complete test receive 40 hours of PTO. Bargaining Team: Cole Nagy aided by POLC Labor Representative John Stidham.
Owosso Command New three-year agreement expires June 30, 2024. Wages: 13.5% above Patrol for Sergeants effective July 1, 2021. 7.5% above Sergeants for Lieutenants effective July 1, 2021. 13.5% above Patrol for Sergeants effective July 1, 2022. 7.5% above Sergeants for Lieutenants effective July 1, 2022. 13.5% above Patrol for Sergeants effective July 1, 2023. 7.5% above Sergeants for Lieutenants effective July 1, 2023. Fringe Benefits: All hours worked due to call back are paid at a minimum of 2 hours at the rate of 1-1/2 times Employee’s regular pay. For any hours Detectives work outside of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Overtime begins after 4 hours on call. Any hours worked outside of Detective Bureau duties will be paid at 1-1/2 times regular pay. Equipment allowance doubled from $50 to $100 per year. Employees required to wear civilian clothing for 30 days or more receive $650 clothing allowance per year. Bereavement Leave will be paid whether or not the Employee is scheduled to work during that 24- to 36-hour timeframe. Health Care: Employees can contribute up to the maximum allowable under IRS Section 125 rates to their Flexible Spending Account. Manning & Safety: Employees will be laid off in order from least seniority to the most seniority. Employees laid off indefinitely will be given at least 14 calendar days prior notice. Employees will be recalled from layoff by seniority with the most seniority being called back first. Employer will provide military leave and reinstatement rights for service members according to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. Shift preference by seniority will occur every 6 months. Retirement: Employees hired before April 1, 2018 are granted a one-time payout of $10,000 in their final paycheck once they complete the MERS Application for Defined Benefit Retirement form. The payout counts toward the Employee’s FAC. All other benefits terminate on the date of retirement. Retiring Employees may cash out up to 480 hours of Sick Leave. Bargaining Team: Jon Cecil, Jeff Dame and Scott Davis aided by POLC Labor Representative Scott Blackwell.
New three-year agreement expires June 30, 2024. Wages: 3% effective July 1, 2021. 2.5% effective July 1, 2022. 2% effective July 1, 2023. Fringe Benefits: Bereavement Leave will be paid whether or not the Employee is scheduled to work during the 24- to 36-hour timeframe when it’s taken. If an Employee has no Sick, Vacation or Holiday Leave, they may request an additional 12 hours of Bereavement Leave for death of a family member not listed in the contract. Overtime is limited to one Officer per rotation on second shift. The Employer will provide replacement uniforms as needed. Equipment allowance doubled from $50 to $100 per year. Investigative Unit Employee’s clothing allowance doubled from $250 to $500 per year. Employees who do not use Vacation hours during the year may receive payment up to 40 hours. Employees who are scheduled and report to work on Holidays will be paid $275 for the day plus their regular rate of pay, if they work a minimum of 6 hours of the shift that begins on the actual Holiday. All hours worked over a 12-hour shift will be paid at 1-1/2 times the rate of pay. Manning & Safety: Shift preference by seniority will occur every 6 months. Seniority and qualifications are considered for special assignments. The maximum duration is 4 years per assignment and Employees must wait one year before applying for another special assignment, unless no other Employees seek the vacancy. Extensions of special assignments may be granted up to 60 days. Part-time Employees will be laid off first, Probationary Employees next, followed by the least seniority in order up to the most senior Employee. Employees laid off indefinitely will be given at least 14 calendar days prior notice. Employees will be recalled from layoff by seniority with the most senior Employee called back first. The Employer will provide military leave and reinstatement rights for service members according to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. Bargaining Team: Kevin Pettigrew, Matt Fray, Brian Jenkins and Andrew Reed aided by POLC Labor Representative Scott Blackwell.
St. Joseph Police Command
New three-year agreement expires June 30, 2024. Wages: 5% effective July 1, 2021. 2.5% to 5% effective July 1, 2022. 2.5% to 5% effective July 1, 2023. *Wages effective July 1, 2022 and July 1, 2023 based on State of Michigan inflation rate in the “Headlee” Millage Reduction Fraction applied to Employee wage rates. Fringe Benefits: Employees required to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure, symptoms or positive test result will be given Paid Time Off (PTO). Employees will not be required to use Sick Leave, Vacation Time, Compensatory Time or other earned PTO if the Employee provides proof they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at time of exposure or onset of symptoms. Employees with an associate’s degree will receive $250 per year. Previously, there was annual compensation for only bachelor’s ($500) and master’s ($1,000) degrees. Only the highest level of educational attainment will be paid. Meal allowance increased from $1,600 per year to: $1,750 effective July 1, 2021; $1,800 effective July 1, 2022; and $1,850 effective July 1, 2023. Manning & Safety: Employees with special assignments as Firearms Instructors, PCT/Krav Instructors, Reserve Coordinator and Vehicle Maintenance Officers receive $1,500 annually. Certified Firearms Instructors assigned to training other Officers receive an additional $1,500 per year. The City will provide professional liability insurance to protect Employees against losses arising from claims brought against them for the performance of their official duties. Willful misconduct or lack of good faith in the performance of duties shall not be covered. Disciplinary action against an Employee for non-criminal complaints must occur within 90 days from City being aware of the event. Retirement: Employees who have served 5 years as a Sergeant and completed 25 years of service are eligible for normal retirement benefits. Bargaining Team: Chris Mendez and Daniel Hetrick aided by POLC Labor Representative Scott Blackwell. d
Member News Dickinson County units score major wage increases with help of POLC — By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
he POLC was able to bring home some amazing increases for four units in Dickinson County with the help of a wage comparison study. The Employer sought the wage study, which determined several Employees were being paid less than others in neighboring communities. The POLC negotiated with the County, which resulted in substantial wage increases for Dickinson County Patrol & Dispatch, Dickinson County Command Officers, Dickinson County Corrections Officers and some Dickinson County General Employees. The POLC negotiated four-year agreements with additional 2 percent wage increases each year of the contracts in addition to the wage bumps based on the study. For Command, that amounted to a 20% increase effective Jan. 1, 2022; Patrol & Dispatch received 18 percent; and Corrections got a 12.5 percent boost in pay the first year. “Dickinson County did a wage study over the past year and that wage study showed where they should be,” said POLC/ GELC Labor Rep. John Stidham said. “That increased their wages considerably. On top of that, they gave them another two percent. It definitely benefited the Employees and the County too because they can now retain people, hopefully.” Determining average raises across the board for Dickinson County General Employees was complicated due to the sheer number of types of positions in that unit. The wage study impacted each job classification differently. “Increases were based on their jobs and the wage assigned to those jobs after the study was completed. Some of their people got much higher than 2 percent in first year,” said Stidham, who negotiated all the contracts. “The wage study increased the members’ wages up to 15 percent in the first year, with not every position receiving that large of an increase. Everybody got a guaranteed 2 percent on top of what that scale said they would be making in the first year.” Command Local Union President Derek Dixon was thankful the County and POLC worked so well together. Stidham handled negotiations for their usual POLC/GELC Labor Rep. Hal Telling, who was out due to illness. “Our County has been really fair with us,” Dixon said. “It was a very amicable negotiation, especially with the Command staff.” The Command agreement resulted in pay raises every 6 months. “They broke it down every six months until Jan. 2025, then we will be at the full amount of study plus the two percent on top of that,” Dixon said. “At the end of the contract they gave us a $9,000 raise from where we were before the contract. (Typically) you might have the base wage go up $4,000, where this one went up $9,000!” 12 • SUMMER 2022
Dickinson County Deputy Chris Smith, Local Union President for Patrol and Dispatch, touted the POLC for bringing Dispatch wages up to par. “The wage study really didn’t benefit Dispatch that well – about $1,000 a year for them. It was very minimal,” Smith said. Stidham successfully negotiated increasing Dispatch wages to 80 percent of Patrol’s wages. Patrol’s wages jumped 18 percent in 2022, so that gave Dispatch a significant boost which should improve retention. Dispatchers were flocking to Dickinson County Courthouse for better paying positions from security to secretarial. “We have lost quite a few Dispatchers to Courthouse positions,” Smith said. “Over time … they were losing so much ground. If you get a 2 percent wage increase, it just really wasn’t enough. Keeping it at that 80 percent of the Road Patrol wage bumps them up above those Courthouse positions. We knew we wanted to keep them above Courthouse people. That just makes sense with all the responsibilities they have.” The public safety groups also received significant increases in uniform allowances. Corrections uniform allowance increased from $205 to $250 per quarter. “We doubled our uniform allotment from $205 to $400 per quarter,” Dixon said of Command, Patrol and Dispatch. “We’re very fortunate here with our County Administrator and the Board. We’ve always been reasonable with our requests as well.” All public safety groups received a $100 a month increase – from $300 to $400 – for Employees opting out of medical coverage. “We had several small things that all added up to more money,” Smith said of Patrol and Dispatch. “With different Call-in pay, if you’re forced to come in, you can potentially get double time in certain situations.” Command was granted Overtime (OT) pay without stipulations. Previously, they could not use Sick Time in conjunction with OT and there was an 80-hour minimum. “If you worked 72 hours and you used 8 hours of Sick Time, you would get straight time until you worked 80 hours,” Dixon said of the prior requirement. “Anytime, we work Overtime it is pretty much mandatory with Command. Anytime I work Overtime, it is Overtime now at the Overtime rate.” “We’ve been very happy since switching to the POLC,” Dixon said of their membership since about 2008. “We were with the Wisconsinbased Union prior, but we’ve had nothing but good luck with the POLC. We’ve been very happy with Hal (Telling) and John (Stidham). They’re good at getting back to you and answering your questions. We’re in the Upper Peninsula and they do make a point of swinging in whenever they’re around here to say, ‘Hi.’” d