Collective Bargaining For Public Safety Personnel 2019 ~ T.J. MacKay
Members of Local 3573's Executive Leadership Program recently completed another course designed to improve their knowledge and enhance the resources available to their fellow members. The Labor Relations Information System's course provides some of the most informative and current case studies impacting the lives of public safety officers throughout the United States. This course covers a myriad of recent developments from around the country in the area of public safety labor relations, including;
- What is the Janus decision, what did it hold, and why?
- In the absence of legislative changes, what are the confines of a union’s duty of fair representation to non-members?
- What isn’t flexible under Janus without statutory changes – the duty to represent non-members in negotiations.
- Amending bargaining statutes to entirely except non-members from the duty of fair representation.
- The need to rewrite labor contracts and bylaws to accommodate Janus.
- What are the sorts of wages, hours, and working conditions that are mandatory for bargaining.
- The difference between bargaining over an employer’s decision and bargaining over the impacts of the decision.
- Hot negotiations issues, including equipment (GPS systems, body cameras), workplace safety (staffing, communicable disease policies), health care, work schedules, and other issues.
- How the obligation to bargain over mandatory subjects of bargaining can limit an employer’s ability to respond to fiscal challenges.
- The topics that may be mandatory for bargaining that are also an employer focus in difficult economic times, including layoffs, shift scheduling, furloughs, staffing levels, delayed or foregone wage increases, and benefit adjustments.
- The mid-term bargaining process and resolution techniques.
- Management rights and maintenance of benefits clauses.
- A review of wage and benefit settlements over the last six months in public safety agencies.
- A review of national economic projections, including projections for the Consumer Price Index and other national indices that impact an employer’s ability to pay.
- Current projections for increases in medical costs.
- The different strategies taken by public safety employers and unions in bargaining in difficult times.
- Preparing and maintaining a bargaining strategy.
- Keeping a contract notebook.
- Preparing for the meet-and-confer process.
- The composition of the bargaining team and the roles played by different bargaining team members.
- Selecting comparable jurisdictions and total compensation analysis, including cost of living, workload and productivity, local labor markets, cross-classification analysis, and other topics which are raised in an assessment of wages and benefits.
- How one goes about proving bargaining history.
- The significance of a tentative agreement.
- The different types of bargaining concessions that are occurring, including furloughs, retirement adjustments, wage freezes and reductions, and health insurance changes.
- Non-economic benefits in exchange for economic concessions.
- Dealing with constituencies (union members and elected officials) during difficult economic times.
- The increased focus on politics and media relations, and the implications of getting the public involved in the bargaining discussion.
- The various factors taken into account by an arbitrator in assessing an employer’s ability to pay.
- How things such as available revenue sources, taxing limits, involvement of the union in the budgeting process, public safety budget priorities, and contingency funds play a part in an arbitrator’s decision on the ability to pay.
- A discussion of whether a finding of inability to pay ends an arbitrator’s analysis, or is one of many factors considered by an arbitrator in awarding wage and benefit adjustments.