B Square file photo of Paul Post, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Don Owens Memorial Lodge 88
The police chief or his designee is the sergeant of arms for the city council.
Mike Rouker, city attorney, addressing Bloomington’s city council in December 2019.
Bloomington police officers now have a contract with the city for the next three years, through the end of 2022. The four-year deal, approved by the city council on Wednesday night, stretches back to the beginning of 2019, when the current contract expired.
Officers have been working this year under an “evergreen” clause of the old contract.
The 2-percent raise for this year was not applied retroactively, though it feeds into the schedule of raises each year for the next three years, which range from 2.65 to 2.9 percent.
Instead of applying the raise retroactively, which according to city staff would have been administratively too complex, officers received a $1,000 bonus. The bonus is about $60 less than 2 percent of the base salary for an officer, which was $52,916 in 2018.
Paul Post, who’s president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Don Owens Memorial Lodge 88, told the city council that the main point of contention—about which the union members were not happy—was a move away from seniority as the sole factor in determining shift assignments.
That final piece of business could be finished by the end of the year, after a meeting on Oct. 24, between city officials and the police union. The city presented the union with its latest proposal for a contract, president of Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Paul Post told The Beacon.
In late September, union officers told the city council at regular meeting that since mid-2018, the two sides had exchanged eight proposals, each with a counterproposal, for a total of 16 proposals. The most recent meeting would make nine rounds for a total of 18 proposals exchanged.
ASL interpreter Sandra Grissom had more than one occasion to use the sign for “police officer” as part of the interpreter services she provided to the Bloomington city council meeting on Sept. 18, 2019 (Dave Askins/Beacon)
Paul Post, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 88, addresses the city council on Sept. 18, 2019. (Dave Askins/Beacon)
The 2020 budget that’s included in the Bloomington city council’s meeting packet for this Wednesday is virtually the same as the one that was presented in a series of departmental hearings in August.
It does not include, as a couple of councilmembers had suggested, the creation of a top-level position to direct the city’s action to meet goals related to climate change. The administration’s budget also does not include any additional police officer positions—beyond the two extra officers that were already a part of the budget proposal. The possibility of adding more officers had been suggested by some councilmembers.
Bloomington city councilmembers listen as members of the police union talk about recruiting and retention in the department. (Dave Askins/Beacon)
Jeff Rodgers, who represents the detective division in the collective bargaining process has put in 13 years with the department. (Dave Askins/Beacon)
Paul Post, who’s president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 88. (Dave Askins/Beacon)
More than four dozen Bloomington police and their family members filled the city council’s chambers Wednesday night. They were there to support members of their collective bargaining team, who addressed the local lawmakers at their regular meeting on the topic of better pay.
The police department’s budget for next year was not on the city council’s agenda for Wednesday.
Still, the show of interest from the Bloomington Police Department (BPD) fit into a general timeframe of budget decisions for 2020. The city council will vote in early October on the budget after getting the final proposal on Sept. 25.
A city council chamber filled with police officers also fit the context of current collective bargain negotiations between the police union and the city. Paul Post, who’s president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 88, told councilmembers on Wednesday that the 18-month long negotiations had reached a point when the city’s negotiating team declared an impasse and mediator was brought in.
The result of the mediation process, Post said, had produced a written proposal from the city’s team. Post delivered bad news. “Unfortunately, that proposal was not enough,” Post told councilmembers, adding that it was voted down by union membership, because, “it did not adequately meet the financial needs, nor was it designed to meet the recruiting and retention needs so many of you have recently pointed out.”