Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Three Police related Awards

Arbitrators have issued awards in three cases, each involving police department bargaining units.

Arbitrator Jane Wilkinson has ordered the City of Portland to reinstate a police officer terminated for his involvement in the shooting of an individual who turned out to be unarmed.  OregonLive summarized the decision; Arbitrator orders Portland reinstate Ronald Frashour as an officer, with lost wages, and links to the award.  While recognizing it as a “tragic case", the arbitrator concluded that the officer did not act unreasonably and that given the circumstances and the need for a quick decision “a reasonable police officer could conclude that had Mr. Campbell pulled a gun, he would have fired it- possibly at others, or perhaps at himself. The case law points to the conclusion that this is a sufficient basis for finding that there was an objectively reasonable basis for believing that Mr. Campbell posed an immediate risk of serious injury or death to others”  As a result, the arbitrator concluded that the City lacked  just cause for the termination. The decision has prompted protests and the Mayor has indicated an intent to appeal the award.  Arbitrator's ruling for Portland police officer's reinstatement sparks protest   Update: Arbitrator Janet Gaunt has issued an award,discussed here, addressing the conduct of three other officers involved in this incident.

In another police related case, Arbitrator Ira Jaffe has rejected the efforts of the Baltimore County Police Department to remove police lieutenants from the bargaining unit.  County Loses Arbitration Ruling to Police Union  (contains a link to the award). In the context of an interest arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator found that the County had not bargained in good faith by raising the issue of unit definition in this proceeding.

The Quad City Times reports that Arbitrator James Cox has rejected a grievance filed by the Davenport Union of Professional Police seeking back pay for 25 police sergeants who claimed that a demoted Captain was paid at his Captain’s salary after his demotion to Sergeant. City wins grievance, won’t have to pay $399K. The article also contains a link to the arbitrator’s award. Arbitrator Cox concluded “Payment of one employee above scale is not remedied by paying all employees in the same classification the rate of the overpayment”

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