WARREN Cops union opposes plan
A councilman said he'll introduce legislation that would fund the positions.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- The union representing the city's patrol officers is taking issue with a judge's decision to hire five part-time security employees.
Michael Stabile, president of the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, says the union wants to maintain the jobs. Two full-time patrol officers now handle the duties.
Judge Thomas Gysegem has said if city council does not pass legislation by July 2 establishing part-time bailiff positions, he will issue a journal entry creating the jobs. He's allowed by law to do so, he said.
Councilman John Homlitas, D-3rd, said although it's not on this week's council agenda, he plans to introduce legislation that would outline funding for the five positions.
The part-timers would man the metal detector in the Municipal Justice Building on South Street S.E., and provide court security upstairs. Full-time patrol officers would then be freed up for road duty.
The union was expected to be updated on the matter today by its attorney, who will be in town for contract negotiations. Patrol officers have been working without a contract since Dec. 31.
Cites SERB finding: Stabile said OPBA members have been providing court security, even when layoffs in January 2000 left the department short-staffed for more than a year.
The State Employment Relations Board recently sided with the union, Stabile said, after an officer, who worked security upstairs, was relieved from those duties by the court for all but one day a week.
Stabile said SERB agreed the positions should be filled by the union and that the duties should be reinstated.
The judge said security was temporarily handled by officers from nearby townships who volunteered their time during layoffs because more officers were needed on the roads.
Tax increase: Revenue from a 0.5-percent income tax increase passed in May is to be used to bring police and fire operations back to normal levels.
Stabile said Judge Gysegem has talked about calling the five part-timers bailiffs instead of security officers. "You can call it by a different name," Stabile said. "It's still the same job."
The five part-timers would be paid between $10 and $12 per hour. They would not receive benefits, saving the city in excess of $50,000 or $60,000 a year, the judge said.