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Being a member of the fraternity of the police (FOP) of Jefferson Metro County, there are various strategies that can be used in order to make sure that the goals of the fraternity are achieved. The strategies are put in place in consideration of all issues that may affect full execution of the will of both parties such as the evident reigning economic situation.
The first step will be to put together the team that will sit at the negotiating table. In order to be effective, besides the usual union officials and representatives, the team will also have union members who cab represent some of the union’s issues (Freeman & Rogers, 2002). These problems relate to salaries, grievance procedures, health insurance as well as allowances and pays, amongst others. This team will allow the union to present their issues from a theoretical as well as a practical angle.
The union can start with one issue and then end with \other in order to convey nobility. In the real sense, this is one of the major problems that is of concern to many fraternity members. Consequently, the fraternity will start by negotiating this issue. It is evident that the county, state and national’s economic situation has note made it easier for salary adjustment/increment. Nevertheless, the fraternity senses some resistance from Metro in matters relating to salary increment in accordance to article 24. Previously, salary increases of up to 5% were made per annum. Although Metro may argue that the current economic situation is limiting such kinds of adjustments, then there should be some of adjustments accepted at least. An act of good faith should be evident.
Metro and the fraternity could adopt the strategy used by Douglas Country, although it a county in a different state. The agreement between Douglas and the fraternity was a two year contract (January 2013 to December 2014), unlike that of Metro and the fraternity, which would last for three years. The two parties agreed to have a small increase that would be distributed across the period. The general growth was implemented in a three percent wage increase (BCC Douglas, 2012). The first two percent increase would occur between January and December 2013. The second one percent increase would occur between January and December 2014. Likewise, Metro could implement a three percent increase and spread it across the three year period. This would be better than the constant excuse related to the current economic situation.
The grievance process has been effective. However, it needs to be altered in order to attain the maximum efficiency. This is why the fraternity asks Metro to change step four and make it to be the final. When the county makes this change, it will facilitate in the decision-making process as far as grievances are concerned. Additionally, it will shorten the grievance process. Some of these stages take too long. Some members have had to sit on these arbitration meetings for many months. Douglas’s grievance process is only three steps long (BCC Douglas, 2012). Likewise, the grievance procedure by Denver also contains three steps (BCC Denver, 2004). Shortening the process to four stages will be fair for both the country and the fraternity.
In accordance to article 37, the definitions should be revised in order to cater for the uniforms as the county’s property. It is relevant to note that the initial uniforms are offered by the county, so uniforms worn should not be treated any different. By revising these definitions as to what qualifies to be the country’s property and personal property, some issues will be handled. For example, uniforms torn in line of duty should be replaced by the county. This will also guarantee that all members are uniformly and smartly dressed without any excuses. One might bring up the issue relating to how it will be assessed that a uniform was actually torn or damaged within the line of duty. This can be clarified through the regular and constant checkups done by the officers when they report to stations and when they are leaving.
In accordance to article 23, section 1 should include “former member” as part of the members who qualify to receive Metro’s legal defence. This entails legal actions taken against police officers when they were in line of duty even after retirement. A person may file a legal action after one retires of an incidence that occurred when the defendant was in line of duty. Providing such legal action to retirees and ex-police officers will allow the current officer to work comfortably (Swimmer & Bartkiw, 2003). It is relevant to note that this provision does not warrant carelessness. All other laws, regulations and policies are applicable. It only assures the police that the county has considered the risks inherent to the job even when one is not at work.
The fraternity would wish to maintain the current health insurance plans. This is inclusive of the premiums and co-pays. It is relevant to note that the fraternity has already compromised on the salary increment. Furthermore, past contracts in the recent years have foregone salary increases in order to maintain the current health plans. Additionally, this line of work poses numerous life and health risks to the members. The best health plans are, therefore, needed in order to give the members some form of psychological comfort (Swimmer & Bartkiw, 2003). This could be achieved in case if the current health insurance was maintained.
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