The mayor has taken issue with a lawyer's characterization of the administration as being 'anti-union.'
WARREN -- The State Employment Relations Board has found probable cause that the city committed an unfair labor practice by not paying 4-percent raises to police retroactively for 2001 and 2002.
Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the police union, filed a complaint in June.
The raises were part of a negotiated contract settlement. City Auditor David Griffing said difficulty with getting records from the pension fund straightened out caused the delay.
The officers began receiving the retroactive pay last month, he said.
"We are not surprised by SERB's decision," said Randy Weltman, an attorney for the OPBA. "The city's conduct was unwarranted, unfair and unlawful. What is tragic is that this is just another act in a series of anti-union acts, purposely committed by an anti-union city administration."
Mayor Hank Angelo objected to Weltman's characterization, saying his administration did everything it could to keep employees working.
"Even during the layoffs and without prodding, we gave civilian jobs to our safety forces because we felt it was our moral obligation so they would have benefits during the layoff period," he said. "If Mr. Weltman chooses to believe this administration is anti-union, that's his prerogative, but the facts demonstrate just the opposite."
SERB will conduct a hearing on the complaint and has directed the city and union to start mediation.