Police have already saved the city thousands of dollars.
By MARALINE KUBIK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CAMPBELL -- Because they think they've already done more than their share, city police turned down a concessions package that administrators asked all employees to accept last week.
Police have saved the city thousands of dollars in recent weeks by allowing the city to hire up to five part-time officers when there are three full-time vacancies on the force, according to a member of the staff of the statewide union that represents city police.
Patrick Daugherty, senior staff representative for the Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council, said that, ordinarily, when there are vacancies on the force, full-time officers must be hired to fill those positions before part-timers can be used.
No one else sacrificed
But to help the debt-ridden city cut costs, officers agreed to allow the use of part-timers to help eliminate overtime. No other department did that, so when the city asked all city employees to give up two of 12 paid holidays, longevity pay and uniform allowances, the police department said no, Daugherty explained. "We don't want to sign off or agree to more concessions when we feel what we've already done is adequate."
Employees in the street and water departments accepted the concessions package, and according to Mayor Jack Dill, firefighters agreed to the concessions "with some strings attached."
Firefighters would not agree to the elimination of current minimum staffing requirements.
All must agree
But without agreement among all departments, the concessions, designed to help trim $440,000 from next year's budget, will not be put into effect. Instead, up to 11 workers will be furloughed and, Dill said, all departments will likely be affected.
In the police department, part-timers must be laid off before any full-time workers, Daugherty said. "We have a clause in our contract that if anybody's laid off, no part-timers work."
Elimination of the part-timers could cost the city, which would then pay full-time officers overtime to cover shifts in accordance with the minimum staffing requirements.
"In all fairness, the police have cooperated with us all along," Dill said. The mayor also said that he recognizes giving up uniform allowances -- $850 per year for police officers after one year of service -- might be a greater hardship for the police than workers in other departments.
Police officers are in full uniform every day, he said, and they must buy everything from shirts and pants to hats and holsters. Giving up that allowance means all of those expenses would come out of their take-home pay, the mayor said.