Thursday, January 30, 2003

Text of union letter to officers

This is the text of a letter Roger Webster, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Queen City Lodge No. 69, wrote to officers this month under the title: President's Message.

Brothers and Sisters,

After months of preparation the wage team met with the city on October 23 and began face-to-face negotiations. After hundreds of hours of hard fought negotiations the FOP had finally come to an agreement on a contract. The wage team then took the agreement to the members and ratified a contract for both the supervisors and the non-supervisors.

In a matter of hours, seven members of city council slapped each and every police officer in the city in the face and decided to not ratify the supervisors contract. The mayor, the city's wage team and the FOP tried to explain to the simple seven the benefits of ratifying both contracts. But no, for the first time in history the city did not ratify a contract with the FOP.

As professional police officers we must continue to do our jobs. My request of all of you is to continue to do your jobs as professionally as possible. If that means you have to find the owner of the seven to nine or four to six violator and have them move their vehicle then do so, and take all the time you need. If you find a vehicle parked in violation make every attempt to locate the owner or operator and them move the vehicle. If you are called to the scene of a crime find a legal place to park your vehicle and walk to the scene. Then take the time you need to investigate the crime to the fullest. Interview all possible witnesses to offense. Canvas the neighborhood if necessary. When responding in an emergency mode, remember do not drive overly fast, stop at all intersections and stop signs. When dealing with a complainant, be professional take as much time as necessary to give each and every complainant the service they need.

Most of you by now have either seen or heard what happened in the council chambers. I know it is still a long time before elections but I hope you and all of your friends and family members will remember how the members of council voted on an issue very important to each and everyone of you.

Brothers and Sisters these seven council members have impressed me to no end. They have not read our contract and have no idea what is in it. Yet they have the best interest of the voters in mind when they voted to not give the supervisors a contract. Once again they have shown their ignorance in running the city. When they voted the contract down they had no idea what they were doing. Hell, they wrote charter amendment #5 (Issue 5) and they don't know or can't remember what it says about the Assistant Chiefs we have right now. I'm not amazed by the total lack of respect these members of council have for us as police officers. It was OK when they illegally created a charter amendment that violated our contract. Once again no one did the research and the city went ahead with their screw you attitude. They then lied to the voters by telling them Issue 5 did not violate any of the contracts they had with any of the unions. The FOP tried to tell the public at that time this issue would end in court and here we are.

Again these seven showed their ignorance when the contracts came to a vote. In the 11th hour the city wanted to open negotiations again and attempt to ram something down our throat, which was not on the table to begin with. Because we spoke our mind we were openly threatened in council chambers, which doesn't surprise me. Now we all see the reason for our contractual protection of the union, its executive board members, and wage team members.

The supervisors wage team has begun preparing for fact finding. Council's vote has raised some interesting questions. Our lawyers are researching those questions at this time because we have never had anything like this happen before. I will keep you updated as we get answers.

Be professional, be safe and cover each other.


Roger Webster

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