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MAP Mission
MAP was developed to meet the growing needs of police related employees in the area of collective bargaining, to provide due process for our law enforcement members, and to promote the advancement of police labor issues that were not being met by other police labor groups. Joseph Andalina, a 26-year police veteran with more than 35 years experience in the police labor field, originally conceived and established MAP in the early 1980’s. Over the years, it has now, with its staff, board and attorneys, risen to a premier labor union in Illinois.


The Metropolitan Alliance of Police is
pleased to announce our annual steward training seminar for Thursday, September 20, 2018. MAP representatives and MAP attorneys will be teaming up to provide an educational seminar to provide you the tools and knowledge necessary to effectively represent your members. Some topics included will be body camera issues, recognizing your rights while exercising collective bargaining activities, understanding your privileges during discipline hearings, Garrity and Weingarten rights, identifying contract violations and effectively applying the grievance process, negotiating and enforcing your contracts and more.

The seminar will be held at Benedictine University Krasa Student Center in Lisle, Illinois. Seating will again be limited and reserved on a first come first reserved basis. Please provide the name(s) with individual email addresses of attendees, and department/chapter to John P Ward at mapstewardseminar@gmail.com to reserve your place.

The seminar is Thursday, September 20, 2018. Check in begins at 8:30 and the seminar will begin promptly at 9:30 and conclude at 3:30. Lunch will be provided.

U.S. Supreme Court Affirms that Collective Bargaining Agreements Must be Interpreted According to “Ordinary Principles of Contract Law”

Foster Swift Collins Smith PC USA
March 12 2018

In a recent opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court emphatically reaffirmed the requirement that collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) must be interpreted according to “ordinary principles of contract law” when deciding whether retired employees are entitled to health care benefits. CNH Industrial N.V. v. Reese, No. 17-515, 2018 WL 942419 (U.S. Feb. 20, 2018). The Supreme Court once again rejected the analysis used by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (including federal courts in Michigan) that placed a “thumb on the scale” in favor of holding that CBAs provided lifetime health care benefits to retirees. The result is that employers in Michigan will now have greater certainty in negotiating and modifying the terms of health care benefits provided to their employees and retirees under CBAs.

Background of the Case

The case involved a dispute over union retiree health benefits. In 1998, CNH entered into a CBA which provided group health care benefits to certain employees set to retire under the company’s pension plan. After the CBA expired, a class of CNH retirees and surviving spouses initiated a lawsuit in federal court asking for declaratory judgment that they were entitled to health care benefits for life and seeking to enjoin CNH from modifying those benefits.

While the case was pending, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M SmitG Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015). In Tackett, the Supreme Court held that CBAs must be interpreted according to ordinary principles of contract law. It also explicitly rejected the analysis used by the Sixth Circuit, which relied on the so-called “Yard-Man inferences.” Under a Yard-Man analysis, which was not used in any other federal circuit, courts in the Sixth Circuit would infer that an employer agreed to provide retirees with lifetime health care benefits unless there was a specific provision in the CBA stating that those benefits had a limited duration or could not be modified. The Supreme Court held that the Yard-Man inferences were inconsistent with ordinary contract princi
ples. After Tackett was decided, the district court ruled in favor of the retirees. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s holding that the retirees had vested lifetime health care benefits.

The Decision
The Supreme Court unanimously reversed, holding that the Sixth Circuit had failed to follow Tackett’s directive to apply ordinary principles of contract law. Instead, the Sixth Circuit had relied on the Yard-Man inferences to find that CBAs were ambiguous and therefore, extrinsic evidence beyond the contract language could be considered in deciding whether the CBAs provided retirees with lifetime health care benefits. The Supreme Court held that the Sixth Circuit erred by failing to enforce the CBA’s general durational clause to health care benefits (i.e., that the contractual obligation to provide health care benefits ends when the CBA’s term expires). In order to provide lifetime benefits, the parties must include a specific provision to that effect in the CBA. Foster Swift Collins Smith PC
- Richard C. Kraus and Mindi M. Johnson

HB4780 Amends the Peace Officer and Probation Officer Firearm Training Act.

It provides that the fee required for an applicant for a retired law enforcement officer concealed carry certification shall be no more than 20% of the fee required under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act for application or renewal for a concealed carry license.

Please contact your representatives to show your support for HB4780. Here's an article we are running in the August issue of American Police Beat about the most recent murder of one of our law enforcement officers.

This morning NPR on their Morning Edition radio show aired a story on the dramatic increase of unprovoked attacks on law enforcement. There was no text available so all I have to send you is the link to the segment on the radio show. I hope you can tune in. It's well done. Click here http://apbweb.us7.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=dcd3e5ab5e37d1df82eed bad9&id=8799513fe1&e=bea0cb0b7b to listen.

VIDEO: Help Us Fight This Gross Injustice To my fellow officers! Here in New York City, Sgt. Hugh Barry of the 43 Precinct was indicted for Murder 2 by a Bronx grand jury for the shooting death of an emotionally disturbed woman who attacked him with a baseball bat. This is a message from Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), who needs all of our help to get justice for Sgt. Barry http://apbweb.us7.listmanage.com/track/clicku
and watch the video the SBA produced to educate the public about the realities of police work and the NYPD's use of force training. Scroll down to see how you can help Hugh Barry. The SBA is a founding member of PubSecAlliance, an online community of police union and association leaders and their members.

Helping Officers in Need

A Tale of Two Chiefs

Judge clears way for police body cameras in New York

Today it's you, tomorrow it's a security guard

Improving economy is a challenge to law enforcement recruitment

When Teachers Face the Task of Fixing Their Retirement Accounts

Dow 20,000 - Have any wonders been revealed?

Pension Plans in Peril

MAP is an organization composed of sworn police officers and other police-related employees who maintain full or part time employment with any state, county, or municipal agency. We have joined together to form a more professional voice in law enforcement.

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Only full time sworn police officers or police-related employees who
are active or retired may hold office. Membership is open to individuals
as well as associations who may affiliate with us for collective bargaining
or legal defense. Associations or units wishing to utilize our collective bargaining programs should sign collective bargaining interest cards. There are two ways to establish a chapter for bargaining, depending on whether your group is new or has a current labor organization representing you. Call us for details.

Latest News
new my two cents worth posted

The Supreme Court's coming decision could put unions past the point of no return

Read article on The Hill website.
I know you've all been preparing for the fact that our Supreme Court could rule that unions enjoying automatic dues collection by the employer and sent to the union is a violation of the employees' rights to free speech. I am sending you an article written by a guy who supports "limited government" - i.e. he wants to privatize everything including public safety. Good to know what your enemy is thinking. If your union is doing anything to prepare for this or influence the Supreme Court (not sure how you do that) please let me know and I will get the word out.

By Michael Reitz
The Hill

Organized labor faces a transformation this year. In February, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Janus v. AFSCME to decide whether government employees can be fired for refusing to pay union dues. A decision for petitioner Mark Janus could extend right-to-work protections to millions of public employees, and the implications for public policy and national politics are profound.

The case is an inflection point for organized labor, coming after decades of grim news. Union membership as a percentage of U.S. employment has been shrinking for 60 years; only 10.4 percent of workers are members of a union, down from a peak of 35 percent in the 1950s.

Several trends have caused difficulties for labor unions, including automation, globalization and the expansion of right-to-work states, to say nothing of exorbitant union contracts. As a result, unions represent only 6.4 percent of all private sector workers.

In the 1960s, labor leaders sought to retrofit collective bargaining to a sector where competitive market forces are less threatening — the government. Though Franklin D. Roosevelt warned against collective bargaining in the public sector, union’s success in organizing government workers helped slow their decline. Government has been a strong growth sector for unions and today 49 percent of all union members are employed by the government.

Government unions won a major assist from the Supreme Court in the landmark case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977). The court ruled that a public employee could be forced to pay for union representation, even if the money supported causes the employee opposed.

Yet even this model of forced unionism shows strain, brought on by union overreach.

Over time, organized labor has shifted its core function away from serving its members and to consolidating its political power, acting as a financial pipeline for a single political party. As AFSCME 36 of Los Angeles says: “Politics is the union’s business.” Or the Michigan Education Association: “Every education decision is a political decision.”

Political intersectionality led unions, particularly the National Education Association, to embrace causes that have little to do with the workplace. Labor’s shift to politics is the logical result of relying on government employees to sustain membership rolls. Unions are self-motivated to grow government: More government programs lead to more employees who pay more in union dues. But fiscal pressures in states and municipalities have been mounting, particularly related to retiree benefits, and the Great Recession forced many states to make tough choices.

In 2011, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker famously championed collective bargaining reform. A wave of states enacted right-to-work laws, foretelling the collapse of Hillary Clinton’s Blue Wall. (Clinton’s data analysts could have observed that in every Midwest and Rust Belt state that enacted labor reform, Republicans retained control of the state legislature and every Republican governor won re-election.)

Hoping to grow the pool of public employees, unions stretched Abood beyond recognition by unionizing in-home caregivers who are hired by Medicaid recipients. The effort started on the West Coast in the late-1990s and early 2000s by redefining public employment. “Caregivers are paid through a government program,” went the union logic, “let’s organize them as public employees.” Unions siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars intended for disabled adults before the Supreme Court held that states cannot force caregivers to pay dues.

The case, Harris v. Quinn (2014), warned of things to come. The court resolved the case on technical grounds without addressing the forced dues question, but an illuminating conversation took place. Both Justice Samuel Alito, writing the majority opinion, and Justice Elena Kagan, writing the dissent, devoted pages of their opinions to Abood. Alito called Abood “questionable” and “troubling,” while Kagan criticized Alito’s critique as “off-base.”

With Janus, the Supreme Court will address Abood directly.

A ruling for Janus will trigger an exodus of union members who held their nose over union politics. We saw this in Michigan; after the state enacted a right-to-work law in 2012, the Michigan Education Association lost 25 percent of its membership.

AFSCME, the union currently collecting dues from Janus, is preparing for the worst. The union told Bloomberg it had conducted 600,000 one-on-one interviews with members. If Janus wins, the union believes 35 percent will stay in “no matter what,” 15 percent will stop paying dues, with the remaining 50 percent “on the fence.”

Nearly five million workers will be affected by the Janus ruling, a fact not lost on the Democratic Party, heavily dependent as it is on union cash and activists. Legislatures in blue states can be expected to test the limits of Janus; some will try to directly subsidize unions with taxpayer funds.

So how will unions respond to the Janus ruling? Faced with a loss of revenue, unions may chose to focus on the needs and interests of members, eschewing partisan politics and far-left causes.

Alternatively, as their conservative-leaning members leave, unions may seek more radical aims, pushing for strikes and work stoppages. Such moves could backfire with lawmakers and the taxpayers, leading to changes in labor law.

A reimagining of the labor movement is called for. The leaders of tomorrow’s labor movement would do well to discard a collectivist, coercive model and instead promote services potential members want while honoring the rights of individuals to make their own choices. Only a few labor leaders see the future with clarity.

Speaking at an Aspen Institute event in 2015, SEIU 775 President David Rolf said, “The legacy model of the American labor movement has now passed its own strategic inflection point where rescue is no longer an option, and we have to begin to plan for what is next.”

Michael Reitz is the executive vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan, a nonprofit group that advocates for limited government.

The Sacramento Bee's The State Worker published this piece about what public sector unions in California are doing to prepare their members for the Janus decision. Follow The State Worker on Twitter: #thestateworker.

Cops, teachers prepare for Janus.

California unions want to keep anti-labor activists from meeting new teachers and cops
By Adam Ashton

The State Worker: Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers June 04, 2018 12:01 AM

California's public employee unions are backing a pack of bills that might help them hold on to members if the Supreme Court this summer issues a ruling that's expected to deliver a serious blow to the finances for labor organizations.

Two of the bills lay out standard guidelines governing how public agencies collect dues from union members. Both give unions time to call workers and try to change the minds of those who want to stop paying dues. One of the bills would require local governments to grant time off to union shop stewards. It requires the unions to reimburse government agencies, but local government lobbyists still have concerns about it.

Another, Assembly Bill 2970, would prohibit government agencies from publicly disclosing information about new employee orientations. The bill's author, Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, says he wants to shield public employees from workplace violence, but it's raising concerns that the proposal is really intended to prevent anti-union activists from distributing information outside gatherings for public employees.

Already, anti-union activists from the Freedom Foundation are showing up outside public employee orientation events in Los Angeles County to distribute information to workers.

Cooper's bill would block public agencies from disclosing the dates of the orientation events, limiting the Freedom Foundation's ability to contact workers at those events.

"It just seems like a bill targeted at squelching political speech and doing so without any good justification," said David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition.

This year's group of public employee organizing bills follows a similar cluster of legislation a year ago that gave labor some extra muscle as it prepares for a Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the lawsuit that aims to forbid public employee unions from collecting so-called fair share fees from workers who are represented by them but do not want to belong to them.

A lot to lose
Unions expect the court will side with Mark Janus, the Illinois state worker who filed the lawsuit. It would end a 41-year precedent that permitted public employee unions to collect fair share fees in the interest of ensuring that workers who benefit from representation don't get a "free ride" at the expense of other members.

California unions have a lot to lose. Fair share fees typically are almost equal to full dues, and workers who don't want to belong to unions would save hundreds of dollars a year by breaking with them.

Last year, the Legislature adopted a measure that requires public agencies to give unions time to meet with workers at some point during new employee orientation.

Many California public agencies already allowed unions to have that access; the new law ensures labor groups won't lose it.

The law requires agencies to give unions a 10-day notice when they hold orientation events for new employees.

Caitlin Vega, a senior lobbyist for the California Labor Federation, told lawmakers at an April hearing that the notice might become a public record that could lead to unintended parties attending orientation sessions.

That could include "parties that have objections with public employees, with law enforcement, with unions, with any of that," she said. "This is an internal meeting, and our intent with this is simply to keep advance notice internal." Cooper, a former Sacramento County deputy sheriff, argues AB 2970 is necessary to protect the safety and privacy of new public workers. "It is imperative that we protect our new public employees attending orientation by only providing advance notice to pertinent parties," he said at the committee hearing. The bill cleared the Assembly by a 52-18 vote and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate.

Its only opposition came from lobbyists representing cities, counties, school districts and special service districts. They're worried that if the law is read literally, they won't be able to hire private sector experts to give new employees training on workplace standards.

"We also think it's maybe not the appropriate response. We don't think it's necessary by any means," said Dorothy Johnson, a lobbyist for the California State Association of Counties.

Anti-union activists gearing up
The Freedom Foundation, which runs campaigns encouraging West Coast workers to quit their unions, says Cooper's bill could inhibit the organization's ability to provide information to public employees.

"If we're not allowed to know where they are, we don't know who's working," said Sam Han, its California director.

His organization is eager to contact union members about the looming Supreme Court case. It recently sent a message to 50,000 California teachers that described to them the steps they'd have to take to quit the California Teachers Association. It contacted them through their public email addresses.

Snyder of the First Amendment Coalition likened Cooper's proposals to a wave of bills in state legislatures that would have criminalized protests like the one led by Native Americans that delayed construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Upper Midwest.

"You see these targeted efforts that have some window dressing justification but really are aimed at stopping a kind of speech that the bill's supporters don't like, and that's problematic," he said.

Claudia Briggs, a spokeswoman for the California Teachers Association, called the Freedom Foundation messages "spamming" of public employees. The union has not endorsed Cooper's bill, but it favors his intent.

"When employees are in an orientation setting, they're given the time with the employer to discuss employment matters from insurance to vacation leave, health insurance, disabilities. You have employment policies being discussed, safety measures, and those are matters that should be discussed between the employer and the employee and that shouldn't be open to anyone other than those involved," she said.

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The Supreme Court's Janus Decision

In a long-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court held in Janus v. AFSCME that compulsory "fair share" systems in the public sector violate the First Amendment rights of non-union members. The Court's decision, breaking 5-4 along familiar party lines, overturns the Court's 41-year landmark decision in Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed. upholding the legality of fair share. Fair share systems exist in the majority of states with statewide collective bargaining laws. The idea behind fair share starts with the proposition that labor organizations have a duty of fair representation to all members of the bargaining units they represent, without regard... Read on

Rick Pinckard, a leading law enforcement labor attorney out of southern California has put together a list of tips to help you survive and thrive after the Janus vs AFSCME ruling.

Tips for Success Post Janus

In response to the Janus decision, we put together a quick FAQ (frequently asked questions) and emailed it to all of our POA Presidents to provide guidance on how the decision will impact their labor organization. We thought you might find some of this information useful. This FAQ was drafted in the context of California statutory public sector labor law. Laws from state to state may vary. At one point in California, there was legislative movement to require public sector labor organizations to obtain affirmative written consent from each member to allow payroll deductions for union dues. That movement died in California, but may have been successfully adopted by other states.

As you all know by now the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The resulting barrage of commentary may render it difficult to discern what is important for each of your Associations to glean from this decision. Accordingly, I am presenting information below to assist you in providing guidance and answers to both you and your members as they inquire into the significance of the decision.

1. Q - Does this decision change existing law?
A - Yes. In this decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has overruled the law established by Abood v. Detroit Bd. Of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977). In Abood, the U.S. Supreme Court approved the mandatory/involuntary collection of agency-shop/fair-share fees.

2. Q - Does this decision eliminate public sector employee unions? A - No. The decision prohibits public sector unions from compelling the involuntary or non-consensual payment of agency shop fees from non-members.

3. Q - Does this decision eliminate agency shop provisions in public sector collective bargaining agreements?
A - To the extent that such provisions allow the employer, at the behest of the union, to collect agency fees from non-members, those provisions are no longer deemed constitutional.

4. Q - If my Association does not exist as a closed agency shop, does this decision require me or the Association to do anything different than what we've been doing?
A - No.

5. Q - How do I know if I work in a closed agency shop?
A - It will be in your collective bargaining agreement (labor contract) with your City, County or District. Currently, most of our client Associations are not agency shops.

6. Q - From this date forward, will my Association now be required to get signed permission on an on-going basis, to collect Association dues?
A - No, not from members.

7. Q - Can non-members agree to voluntarily pay an agency fee?
A - Yes. But, any non-member who waives their Constitutional rights so that an agency fee can be collected from them, must sign a written waiver granting consent to the Association to collect the fee; such waivers should be obtained on the same cycle that would have applied to distribution of Hudson letters. Additionally, the agency fee would still have to be calculated from an audit, using as much precision as possible to accurately identify the chargeable and non-chargeable expenses.

8. Q - For Associations which had agency shop status, is there a requirement that the Association refund any and all agency fees which have been collected over the entire period of time the employee was a non-member?
A - No. Prior to the Janus decision, collection of agency fees was deemed constitutional by the precedent established in the Abood decision. Pro rata refunding to fee payers, covering the period since the date of the Janus decision (yesterday) would be appropriate.

9. Q - My Association had been thinking of negotiating for agency shop status; is that now prohibited?
A - No. However, you will not be able to compel the involuntary payment of an agency fee from those employees who choose not to join the Association.

10. Q - Under the duty of fair representation, does my Association still have the duty to bargain for non-members, even if the non-members don't pay their fair share? A - Yes, unless and until State law changes.

Keep in mind that our brothers and sisters in law enforcement recognize the tremendous benefits of Association membership for things such as public safety legislative influence through statewide organizations such as PORAC, supplemental insurance, support of widows and orphans, retiree medical trusts, filing and litigating grievances, criminal defense and administrative legal defense.

These benefits are only available to Association members. It is for this reason that most of your Associations enjoy 100% (or close to that) voluntary membership. The Janus decision does not change this. The decision only applies to Associations which are agency shops, and within those groups, the decision benefits only those employees who are non-members. There will likely be legislative proposals to amend both federal and state laws to adjust to the paradigm shift presented by this decision. For now, we'll all have to watch and when appropriate, join the conversation as active participants in any legislative activity.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may individually or collectively have, or any questions brought to you by your members or non-members. We will do our best to guide you through the uncertainty.

Fraternally yours,
Rick Pinckard
Bobbitt Pinckard & Fields, APC

Commentary on Union Busting Janus Decision June working folks. Screen Shot from Washington Post website. “The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this Nation’s law — and in its economic life — for over 40 years. As a result, it prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance.” - Justice Kagan

The Washington Post
by Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow

Conservatives on the Supreme Court said Wednesday that it was unconstitutional to allow public employee unions to require collective-bargaining fees from workers who choose not to join the union, a major blow for the U.S. labor movement.

The court, in a 5-to-4 decision, overturned a 40-year-old precedent, arguing that the rule could require workers to give financial support to public policy positions they oppose.

“States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority. “. . . This procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue.”

Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the dissenting liberals, objecting to a decision that she said would “wreak havoc” by undoing labor agreements throughout the country.

“There is no sugarcoating today’s opinion,” Kagan wrote. “The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this Nation’s law — and in its economic life — for over 40 years. As a result, it prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance.”

It was a devastating, if not unexpected, loss for public-employee unions, the most vital component of organized labor and a major player in Democratic Party politics. Major public-employee unions pour millions into independent campaigns, largely to bolster Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, and their members are steadfast participants in sophisticated get-out-the-vote efforts on Election Day.

Now their resources will be diminished. The nation’s largest teacher union, the National Education Association, said it could lose as many as 200,000 members this year and is preparing to cut about $28 million from its budget.

President Trump cast the decision as a political victory, tweeting: “Supreme Court rules in favor of nonunion workers who are now, as an example, able to support a candidate of his or her choice without having those who control the Union deciding for them. Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!”

The ruling capped a years-long effort by conservative legal activists to forbid states from authorizing the fees. It is a major success for well-financed groups on the right such as the Koch network, which have battled public-employee unions in Wisconsin and other states.

The case concerns only public-sector unions, but union officials said that because those make up such a large percentage of the labor movement, the impact of the decision is great.

Major Blow to Unions As Billionaires Win Big
By Laura Clawson

This is not just an attack on a few specific unions. It’s an attack on unions as institutions. The anti-worker right, bankrolled by conservative billionaires, has finally gotten the victory it’s been looking for through years and repeated well-funded Supreme Court challenges to a 40-year-old precedent. Janus v. AFSCME once again challenged the requirement that people represented by public sector unions who choose not to join the union still have to pay a fair share fee to cover the direct costs for representing them. That is, they’re paying the costs of collective bargaining and other things from which they personally benefit, not for any union political activity. But Republicans and their wealthy donors saw an attack on even that fair share fee as a way to weaken unions. And now, on the third try in recent years, with Neil Gorsuch on the court, the right got its win.

Viciously anti-worker Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion he’s been waiting to write since he joined the Supreme Court. The claim is that being required to pay a fee for representation that materially benefits a person is a violation of that person’s free speech when done by public sector unions, because in those cases the government is involved. The decision came along exactly the five to four split you expect: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Gorsuch joined Alito, while Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer dissented.

Let’s be clear that this is not just an attack on a few specific unions. It’s an attack on worker power and on unions as institutions that anchor a great deal of the progressive movement. The case may bear the name of Mark Janus, a single worker, but it’s the culmination of big spending and legal firepower coming from the big-money corporate right. This is one more historically bad Supreme Court decision to mourn in this term filled with them.

The Roberts Court Protects the Powerful for a New Gilded Age
By Jedediah Purdy
Professor of Law Duke University

Faith in courts runs deep in the American liberal imagination. Remembering Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade and the recent marriage-equality decisions, we keep hoping that wise and fair-minded judges will protect the vulnerable and lead the country toward justice.

Recent decisions upholding President Trump’s travel ban and Texas’ racially skewed voting districts are body blows to this optimism. They are unhappy reminders that, for much of American history, the Supreme Court has been a deeply conservative institution, preserving racial hierarchy and the prerogatives of employers.

When it comes to economic inequality, today’s Supreme Court is not only failing to help, it is also aggressively making itself part of the problem in a time when inequality and insecurity are damaging the country and endangering our democracy.

Under Chief Justice John Roberts, the court has consistently issued bold, partisan decisions that have been terrible for working people. Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, decided on Wednesday, was one of them.

Just hours after that decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. With this “swing” vote gone, Chief Justice Roberts will now likely take even more control over the direction of issues related to economic inequality — a direction that is earning him a legacy as chief justice of bosses, not workers.

In Janus, the Supreme Court ruled that public-sector unions may not charge nonmembers “agency fees” for contract negotiation and other services that affect all employees in the same workplace, members and nonmembers alike. In his opinion for the court, Justice Samuel Alito compared the fees to Orwellian ideological browbeating. Invoking the great First Amendment tradition invalidating loyalty oaths and mandatory pledges of allegiance, he warned, “Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always demeaning.”

It’s the kind of knotty technical issue — one type of fee for nonmembers of one variety of union — that makes law boring. Unlike the Masterpiece Cakeshop case the court decided in June, Janus isn’t an obvious morality tale: Even many liberals often have mixed feelings about the public-sector unions that represent bureaucrats, subway employees, police officers and teachers.

But Janus is big. As Justice Elena Kagan explained in her dissent, allowing employees to opt out of union fees while getting the benefits of representation risks starving the union of resources, leading to ineffectiveness and collapse. Moreover, knifing unions at a time of intense controversy over state austerity budgets and widespread teachers strikes suggests, as Justice Kagan wrote, that the court “wanted to pick the winning side” in these fights by “weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.”

Supreme Court deals sharp defeat to public employee unions, banning mandatory fees

By David G. Savage
Jun 27, 2018 | 7:40 AM
LA Times

The Supreme Court dealt labor unions a sharp defeat Wednesday, ruling that teachers, police officers and other public employees cannot be forced to pay dues or fees to support their unions.

By a 5 to 4 vote, the justices overturned a 41-year-old precedent and ruled that the 1st Amendment protects these employees from being required to support a private group whose views may differ from theirs.

The decision, in Janus vs. AFSCME, strikes down laws in California, New York and 20 other mostly Democratic-leaning states that authorize unions to negotiate contracts that require all employees to pay a so-called fair share fee to cover the cost of collective bargaining.

In 1977, when public sector unions were getting established, the high court said teachers and other public employees may not be forced to pay full union dues if some of the money went for political contributions. But the justices upheld the lesser fair share fees on the theory that all of the employees benefited from a union contract and its grievance procedures.

But today's more conservative court disagreed and said employees have a right not to give any support to a union. These payments were described as a form of "compelled speech" which violates the 1st Amendment.

"We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern," wrote Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. for the majority.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch agreed. All four liberal justices dissented.

The anti-union National Right to Work Foundation, which funded the challenge, predicted the ruling would free more than 5 million public employees from supporting their unions.

For the unions, which traditionally support Democrats, the ruling will mean an immediate loss of some funding and a gradual erosion in their membership. Union officials fear that an unknown number of employees will quit paying dues if doing so is entirely optional.

The ruling is likely to have a political impact in many states where these unions have been strong supporters of the Democratic Party.

The ruling split the court along ideological and partisan lines. The five justices who formed the majority were all Republican appointees. The four dissenters were appointed by Democratic presidents.

The outcome comes as no surprise to the unions or their lawyers. Three years ago, the justices had before them an identical free-speech challenge to union fees brought by Rebecca Friedrichs, a California teacher. The five conservative justices appeared set to strike down the union fees, but Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly in February 2016. A month later, the court announced it was divided 4-4 and could not issue a ruling.

President Trump's victory allowed him to replace Scalia with Gorsuch who, as expected, cast the fifth vote for the conservatives.

The current case was launched by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner shortly after he took office. He sued to stop the forced collection of union fees, but a federal judge in Chicago said he had no standing to sue since he did not have to pay the fees. So Mark Janus, a state employee from Springfield, stepped forward as a plaintiff. He said he did want to pay $45 a month to support the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

As expected, he lost in the 7th Circuit Court in Chicago because such union fees were legal under the court's previous precedent, now overturned.

Cynthia Brown is the founder and former publisher of American Police Beat and has been serving the law enforcement profession for over 40 years starting out with a stint with the first community police program in the country in the mid-70's in Boston.

Cynthia is the author of Brave Hearts: Stories of Pride, Pain and Courage. Sold over 20,000 copies and used in over 50 police academies as curriculum material. Email Cynthia at cynthia@cynthiabrown.netfor more information.

The Attack on Federal Unions
May 28, 2018
Hi David!

This is the latest assault on the rights of unionized employees working for the government. In this case it's the rights of federal workers under attack. Below is a quote from the president of the American Federation of Government Employees about the situation. If any of you have thoughts on how to support our brothers and sisters working in federal law enforcement please pass them along.
All the best - Cynthia & Ron

"Misleading reports on official time are just the latest barrage in a series of attacks aimed at reducing protections for federal employees in the workplace," said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. "Federal workers assure delivery of services over politics, and the unions that represent workers help preserve civilian protections over partisanship."

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has over 700,000 members who are mounting protests atthe attack on their rights.

Republicans Take Aim at Federal Unions
by Lorraine Woellert Politico
House Republicans accused unionized federal workers last Thursday of abusing a law that allows them to take paid time off to attend labor-management meetings and address workforce issues outside their regular jobs.

The House report was published just days after the Office of Personnel Management raised similar concerns about unionized civil servants.

In a survey, a panel of the House Oversight Committee found that more than 12,500 employees took advantage of legally sanctioned time off, known as "official time," for labor-related activities such as worker disputes, whistleblowing and collective bargaining.

The Department of Veterans Affairs was among the worst offenders, the House panel said. There, 472 employees spent 100 percent of their working hours on labor-management-related business in fiscal 2017, according to the GOP report. Those employees included a VA nurse anesthetist and dentist who each made more than $190,000 a year.

"Some collective bargaining agreements allow certain labor union employees to spend 100 percent of their time on official time," Republican staff wrote. "These employees are subsidized by American taxpayer dollars, but do not have to do their regularly assigned work."

That conclusion echoed the findings of an OPM biennial report on official time, which OPM Director Jeff Pon labeled as "Taxpayer Funded Union Time within the Federal Government." Pon estimated that the taxpayer cost of employees using official time was up nearly 7.6 percent, to $174.8 million, in fiscal 2016 from two years earlier.

Democrats and unions challenged those conclusions , calling them part of a broader assault against career civil servants led by President Donald Trump, who has accused the "deep state" of thwarting his policy agenda.

In a statement submitted to the House Oversight Government Operations Subcommittee, the American Federation of Government Employees disputed that official time was "union time," saying the time was not used to recruit union members, hold union meetings, campaign or hold elections for union office, or collect dues. Rather, AFGE said, "it is time spent representing workers who are the victims of illegal discrimination, illegal harassment, or other prohibited personnel practices."

"Misleading reports on official time are just the latest barrage in a series of attacks aimed at reducing protections for federal employees in the workplace," said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. in a written statement. "Federal workers assure delivery of services over politics, and the unions that represent workers help preserve civilian protections over partisanship."

"The Trump administration is launching a multi-front attack on our independent civil service," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). "These actions will harm middle-class workers who dedicate their lives to public service, impair our ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest, and degrade the services that our government delivers to the American people."

Pon has called for revising civil service laws, including changes to official time and a $143.5 billion rollback of pension benefits. An OPM spokeswoman denied rumors of civil service layoffs, saying "there are no high-level" discussions about a reduction in the federal workforce.

But change already is happening at the agency level. In March, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unilaterally imposed a new contract on the agency's nearly 4,000 unionized employees, prompting AFGE to file a complaint to the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

DeVos and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue also have limited employee telework, turning back an Obama-era expansion of such benefits, which were billed as a way to attract and retain employees.

Meanwhile, worker complaints to the FLRA are piling up. The agency has been without a presidentially appointed general counsel since November, a vacancy that has prevented cases from being prosecuted even as rank-and-file investigators continue to refer worker complaints to the FLRA.

President Barack Obama experienced a similar backlog in 2010 after the labor authority went without a top lawyer for 17 months, resulting in more than 340 deferred cases.

Statement from AFGE website: WASHINGTON - President Trump is attempting to silence the voice of veterans, law enforcement officers, and other frontline federal workers through a series of executive orders intended to strip federal employees of their decades-old right to representation at the worksite, the American Federation of Government Employees said today.

"This is more than union busting - it's democracy busting," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. "These executive orders are a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress has specifically guaranteed to the 2 million public-sector employees across the country who work for the federal government."

"Our government is built on a system of checks and balances to prevent any one person from having too much influence. President Trump's executive orders will undo all of that. This administration seems hellbent on replacing a civil service that works for all taxpayers with a political service that serves at its whim."

"Federal employees swear an oath to serve this country. The American people rightly expect that federal employees go to work every day and do the jobs they were hired to do - whether it's ensuring our food is safe to eat, caring for veterans who were injured while serving their country, preventing illegal weapons and drugs from crossing our borders, or helping communities recover from hurricanes and other disasters."

"President Trump's executive orders do nothing to help federal workers do their jobs better. In fact, they do the opposite by depriving workers of their rights to address and resolve workplace issues such as sexual harassment, racial discrimination, retaliation against whistleblowers, improving workplace health and safety, enforcing reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities, and so much more."

"These executive orders strip agencies of their right to bargain terms and conditions of employment and replace it with a politically charged scheme to fire employees without due process," Cox said.

AFGE representatives have used official time in myriad ways that benefit taxpayers, including to:

* Blow the whistle on management's attempt to cover up an outbreak of Legionnaires disease that killed and sickened veterans in Pittsburgh;
* Address an incident in which a noose was placed on the chair of an African-American worker at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia;
* Mitigate the impact of Army downsizing on employees and their families;
* Expedite the processing of benefits to veterans and their survivors; and
* Successfully negotiate equipping federal correctional officers with pepper spray to keep them safe on the job.

"All federal employees, whether they belong to a union or not, are guaranteed the right to fair representation. Employees who volunteer to serve as union representatives use official time to carry out those representational activities ," Cox said.

"It's a policy that has saved taxpayers in the long run because it helps resolve isolated conflicts that arise in the workplace before they become costly, agency-wide problems. And contrary to some reports, official time is never used to conduct union-specific business, solicit members, hold internal union meetings, elect union officers, or engage in partisan political activities."

"By preventing problem solving, these executive orders will create inefficiencies and hinder the ability of dedicated federal employees to effectively deliver services to the American public."


Cynthia Brown is the founder and former publisher of American Police Beat and has been serving the law enforcement profession for over 40 years starting out with a stint with the first community police program in the country in the mid-70's in Boston.

Cynthia is the author of Brave Hearts: Stories of Pride, Pain and Courage. Sold over 20,000 copies and used in over 50 police academies as curriculum material. Email Cynthia at cynthia@cynthiabrown.net for more information. www.cynthiabrown.net

Ron DeLord is recognized as a leading public safety union contract negotiator; an expert on police and fire unions in United States; and an author and lecturer on public safety union leadership, power, organization, media and political action.

Ron is the co-author of Law Enforcement, Police Unions, and the Future: Educating Police Management and Unions About the Challenges Ahead. For more information go to my web site. www.rondelord.com

Is Your Chief Tracking You?

May 22, 2018
Hi David!

Body cameras, red light cameras, surveillance cameras . . . this list goes on and on. They seem to be everywhere. But most police association leaders are very aware that this technology is being used more and more to monitor every move an officer makes. And that could be a violation of the contract and even officers' rights to privacy and free speech,
- Cynthia Brown

It turns out all this sophisticated surveillance equipment is being used to spy on cops too. And that could be a violation of the contract.

Those Cameras Could be Focused on You!

by Emine Saner @eminesaner

The Guardian
From microchip implants to wristband trackers and sensors that can detect fatigue and depression, new technology is enabling employers to watch staff in more and more intrusive ways. How worried should we be?

Monitoring is built in to many of the jobs that form the 'gig economy' - but surveillance is increasing across the workplace. Last year an American company microchipped dozens of its workers. In a "chip party" that made headlines around the world, employees lined up to have a device the size of a grain of rice implanted under the skin between their thumb and forefinger.

At first, Todd Westby, the CEO of Three Square Market, thought only about five or six people - him and a couple of directors, some of the people who worked in the IT department - would volunteer. But of the 90 people who work at the headquarters, 72 are now chipped; Westby has a chip in each hand. They can be used to open security doors, log on to computers and make payments at the company's vending machines.

Can he see it taking off at lots of other companies? "Not necessarily," he says. Or at least not yet. It's partly a generational thing, he believes. "You may never want to be chipped but if you're a millennial, you have no problems. They think it's cool." There are other uses for it - two months ago, the company (whose core business is selling vending machines and kiosks) started chipping people with dementia in Puerto Rico. If someone wanders off and gets lost, police can scan the chip "and they will know all their medical information, what drugs they can and can't have, they'll know their identity." So far, Three Square Market has chipped 100 people, but plans to do 10,000. The company has just launched a mobile phone app that pairs the chip with the phone's GPS, enabling the implantee's location to be tracked. Last week, it started using it with people released from prison on probation, as a replacement for ankle tags, which Westby describes as "intimidating and degrading". Could he ever see the company using GPS to track its chipped employees? "No," he says. "There's no reason to."

Not all firms would agree. Tech companies are coming up with ever more bizarre and intrusive ways to monitor workforces. Last week the Times reported that some Chinese companies are using sensors in helmets and hats to scan workers' brainwaves and detect fatigue, stress and even emotions such as anger. It added that one electrical company uses brainwave scans to decide how many breaks workers get, and for how long. The technology is used on high-speed train drivers to "detect fatigue and attention loss". While this sort of technology may have legitimate safety applications - a similar project was carried out with Crossrail workers using wristbands that sensed fatigue - it's not hard to see how it could creep into other areas.

In February, it was reported that Amazon had been granted patents for a wristband that not only tracked workers' locations in the warehouse as they "picked" items to be dispatched, but could "read" their hand movements, buzzing or emitting a pulse to alert them when they were reaching for the wrong item. In the filing, Amazon describes it as being able to "monitor performance of the placing of the incoming inventory item into the identified storage location by the inventory system worker".

There are tech companies selling products that can take regular screenshots of employees' work, monitor keystrokes and web usage, and even photograph them at their desks using their computers' webcams. Working from home offers no protection, as all this can be done remotely. Software can monitor social media usage, analyse language or be installed on employees' phones to monitor encrypted apps such as WhatsApp. Employees can be fitted with badges that not only track their location, but also monitor their tone of voice, how often they speak in meetings and who they speak to and for how long.

Employees have always been watched at work, and technology has always been used to do it. But where it was once a factory foreman with a stopwatch, or workers having to physically clock in and out, now "all of that physical stuff has gone into digital technology", says André Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour at Cass Business School. "It captures things that you weren't able to capture in the past, like how many keystrokes are people taking, what are they looking at on their screen while they're at work, what kind of language are they using. And surveillance follows you outside the workplace now."

Some Chinese companies are using sensors to detect employees' levels of fatigue and their emotional state.

Some Chinese companies are using sensors to detect employees' levels of fatigue and their emotional state. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images Advertisement

How much of this is legal? In the UK, employers are allowed to monitor which websites you look at while at work, says Philip Landau, a partner at Landau Law Solicitors who specialises in employment law. "However, the device they monitor must be partly or wholly provided by work. Employers must also give prior warning if they are going to monitor your online activity, and should make you aware of the relevant social media policy." It is also legal to monitor keystrokes, though again employees must be told they will be watched. "In companies where this system is in place, it is not uncommon for employers to speak to employees if they feel that their number of keystrokes is low," says Landau. "It is worth noting that a high number of keystrokes does not necessarily mean high levels of productivity and vice versa."

Employers could theoretically use your computer's webcam to see when you're at your desk but "there should be a justification for such monitoring, and you should be informed of it beforehand. You should also be informed what the pictures will be used for, and how they will be stored." As for GPS tracking, "a company may track any vehicles that they supply to their staff. However, the data they collect must only be used for the management purposes of the company. Any GPS device is not allowed to be turned on if the employee is using the vehicle for personal reasons outside of work."


Cynthia Brown is the founder and former publisher of American Police Beat and has been serving the law enforcement profession for over 40 years starting out with a stint with the first community police program in the country in the mid-70's in Boston.

Cynthia is the author of Brave Hearts: Stories of Pride, Pain and Courage. Sold over 20,000 copies and used in over 50 police academies as curriculum material.

Ron DeLord is recognized as a leading public safety union contract negotiator; an expert on police and fire unions in United States; and an author and lecturer on public safety union leadership, power, organization, media and political action.

Ron is the co-author of Law Enforcement, Police Unions, and the Future: Educating Police Management and Unions About the Challenges Ahead.

Printable Form

Will the State Rescue Your Pension?
Who Knows?

Message from Ron: While the situation in East St Louis is extreme, it is a daily news story where the elected officials failed to pay the required contributions to the police and fire pension funds. In this case nothing short of bankruptcy and perhaps dis-incorporation of the city will rectify the problem. In every pension crisis story the common themes are: the city failed to make its share of the pension payments, and the money now needed is crowding out other city services.

In one of Illinois’ poorest communities, two local pension funds are quickly approaching virtual insolvency. East St. Louis’ police and fire pension funds are among the worst funded in the state. And because the city has missed its required pension contribution, East St. Louis’ city revenues are at risk of state garnishment
East St. Louis’ fire pension fund has only 13 cents on hand for every dollar owed in future benefits, according to a 2017 biennial report by the Illinois Department of Insurance, or DOI.
The DOI report shows East St. Louis’ fire pension funding ratio fell more than 10 percentage points from 2012-2016. The city has struggled to make payments toward its fire pension fund with city contributions declining more than 67 percent over the same time period. As noted in a recent Wirepoints analysis, East St. Louis in 2016 contributed only $801,797 to its fire pension fund, far short of the city’s $3,111,226 required contribution, a 74 percent shortfall.

The city’s police pension fund is 38 percent funded. Like the fire pension fund, the city fell short of its required contribution to the police pension fund by 66 percent in 2016.

Murdered Cop Reignites Pension Fight
Message from Ron: This is a well written article from the Dallas Observer, although those for or against police unions may differ.
The mayor and certain council members have taken a hostile approach to resolving the pension underfunding. The name-calling and attacks on fire and police by these elected officials hurts morale and is self-defeating. These same elected officials have withheld pay to first responders for years to the point that the Dallas suburbs and neighboring Fort Worth have gained hundreds of trained professionals from DPD. No one other the mayor and council are to blame for the recruiting crisis and they are the only ones who can fix it.

Barely beneath the surface in the city’s grief over last week’s shootings of two Dallas police officers and a store security guard was bleak bitterness left behind by last year’s ugly battle over the police and fire pension system.

Two days after the death of Dallas police Officer Rogelio Santander, The Dallas Morning News published a letter to the editor from a retired firefighter saying, “I nearly choked on my supper when Mayor Mike Rawlings asked the public ‘to show more respect for police.’

“Where was that respect last year,” letter-writer Phil Ruzicka asked, “when he tried to take over the Dallas Police and Fire Pension? He all but called us greedy thieves and liars.”
Part of my heartbreak in reading that letter was that I had watched the mayor’s first press conference dealing with the shootings last week. I wasn’t there. I saw it on TV. I have spoken to the mayor several times eyeball to eyeball and lots of times on the phone.

I don’t claim to know him well personally, but I do know enough about him to know he wasn’t faking the shock and grief that showed so plainly on his face in that press conference. READ MORE

Politicos Under Pressure: Let's Open Cops' Records
Message from Ron: Each state has different laws about the release of police officer disciplinary records.Each police union has a different perspective on the impact that releasing the records would cause. Having said that, pubic access to police disciplinary records is one of the major targets for police reform activists. The more restrictive the law the more reform activists will argue that there is no transparency.

The city's Bar Association is calling on lawmakers to repeal a decades-old statute shielding police disciplinary records from the public.

The city's broad interpretation of the law, a 1976 civil rights provision known as 50-a, "fuels the mistrust between communities and the NYPD officers pledged to protect them," reads a report issued by the City Bar Association Monday.

"How can it be that those public employees having the most power and authority over peoples' lives are the least accountable?" asked Bob Freeman of the New York State Committee on Open Government.

His is one of 32 civil rights and police reform organizations who are also calling on the law's repeal.

Two years ago, the city reversed a decades-long practice, opting not to release the findings of its disciplinary actions against cops accused of misconduct.

Those records were once available on a clipboard in the NYPD's public information office, but the city determined their release violated 50-a.

Story and great video - teachers - including Republicans - in Arizona talk about why they are striking - low pay, deplorable conditions, and the fact that the students are not getting a good education because of all the cuts. They are saying it's time to raise taxes. Think about using your clout to support these teachers around the country that are demanding proper funding of public education. The massive tax cuts and a determined well financed effort to privatize the public sector is hitting the police hard too and it's only going to get worse unless different groups band together. There's power in numbers as you know. If you support teachers now, they will help you (hopefully) when it's your time. Click on link below to watch the video - although it may not be easy because the New York Times has a pay wall.

Link to story and video online

We Are Republican Teachers Striking in Arizona. It's Time to Raise Taxes.
Video by Leah Varjacques, Taige Jensen and Japhet Weeks Tens of thousands of teachers are walking out of their schools in Arizona on Thursday. Arizona is the latest conservative state with protesters demanding an increase in teacher salaries and more resources for students. In this video op-ed, four conservative teachers lament the conditions in their classrooms and, in turn, wrestle with their political beliefs.
"I'm a die-hard Republican, and I'm dying inside," says Allison Ryal-Bagley, an elementary school substitute teacher. "Republicans aren't taking care of our kids."
Over the last decade, Arizona has had the greatest decrease in per-student spending in the country - a 36.6 percent drop since 2008 - making it 48th in the nation. Arizona also ranks 43rd in teacher pay, at nearly $11,000 less than the national average, according to the National Education Association.
William Kimsey, who teaches English, is fed up and is moving for a teaching job in Indonesia. Laura Fox, a music teacher, works the late shift at McDonald's to make ends meet. Jenny Bentley Ryan used to work as a Lyft driver to supplement her income teaching science. They are challenging Arizona's Republican governor, Doug Ducey, to increase taxes and give public education the funding it deserves.
— The Editors

Calling all Chiefs, Patrol Officers and
Everyone in Between . . .

This is a Battle We Have to Win: Saving Your Pensions

John Arnold and his wife and the infamous Koch Brothers, who have spent millions of dollars trying to steal your pension. Don’t let them get away with it.

by Cynthia Brown

It’s no secret that there’s a relentless, well-funded attack on your pensions. The people and organizations that are determined, no matter what it takes, to get their greedy hands on your retirement funds have used every tactic in the book to reach their dream of shutting down traditional pension plans and replacing them with 401(k)s. This will impact everyone in the profession - chief down to the officer on the midnight tour answering 911 calls.

The justification for this development? Mostly the bogus argument that states and municipalities face unsustainable pension obligations that will force cuts to essential services and raise taxes if the system is not drastically “reformed.” We think a more accurate word is “destroyed.”

In an excellent article that appeared in The New York Times, Boston University professor David Webber makes the case that the media has mostly taken the crisis claim at face value, while economists and actuaries debate whether there is even a problem. Webber writes:

Since the Great Recession, 49 states have reformed pensions to make them more sustainable, increasing employee contributions and reducing benefits. Wherever one stands on the underfunding question, plenty of options short of converting pensions to 401(k)s exist, including ones that would preserve some collective shareholder voice. But these are rarely considered. Why?

Well, folks, the answer is simple. The motivation is not so much that they’re worried about the fiscal health of your community and that pensions are eating away at that. What they’re really after is control of the funds, so those billions of dollars you earned under contractual agreement doing one of the toughest jobs in our society go into their pockets, not yours.

We highly recommend that you read this article in its entirety. This is one of the biggest issues police unions face and it’s a battle we have to win. Read more on PubSecAlliance:

Controversy Erupts Over Use of Force Policy

Ken Crane, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, has raised numerous objections to new use of force policies. Click the image above to watch the video.

It seems like every law enforcement agency is grappling with changes in use-of-force policies, which are too often implemented by people that are not familiar at all with the complicated, risky, and high-pressure world of law enforcement, especially when it comes to the use of deadly force.

The press conference you are about to watch was convened by Ken Crane, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA), flanked by some of Arizona’s most powerful law enforcement officials. Ken builds his case, detail by detail, and powerfully proves the action taken against this officer is wrong. Every police association in the country is dealing with these kinds of situations and we thought you might get some good ideas seeing what Ken Crane and his folks at PLEA did to fight back. You can read the story below the video.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams is having trouble defending new and confusing use-of-force policies that are causing a morale problem for officers.

The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) held a news conference recently regarding that topic.

PLEA is defending a Phoenix police officer involved in a 2015 shooting. PLEA is also criticizing how Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams handled the case.

“Police managers will often take the politically safe route when it comes to police use of force matters,” said Ken Crane, president of PLEA. “This means the men and women who daily man the front lines are sometimes sacrificed for the benefit of the politically correct decision.”

PLEA’s concerns date back to a Dec. 26, 2015, incident, when a suspect throwing bricks at a police car and precinct substation died in an officer-involved shooting.

It happened in the area of 39th Avenue and Cactus Road just before noon.

On that day, an officer was leaving the precinct when the man threw a rock or brick at his patrol car.

While the officer was calling dispatch, the man threw additional bricks, breaking a precinct door, police said.

Officers in the building managed to leave and approach the man.

“An officer and a sergeant had to contend with an unstable, uncontained violent subject,” Crane said.

“The suspect was still holding rocks/bricks and was refusing to stop, drop the objects, or obey any police direction,” Phoenix police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said at the time.

The suspect then reportedly threw a large rock or brick at one of the officers. It glanced off a tree and hit the officer in the hand.

The officer fired, striking the suspect. The suspect was taken to the hospital in critical condition and later died. He was identified as 41-year-old Lonnie Niesen.

The incident was investigated, but the officer who fired the gun was cleared.

“The officer was cleared by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office of any wrongdoing,” said Crane.

But 15 months later, a police department Use of Force Board reviewed the incident and recommended that the force be designated “out of policy.”

At the time, Phoenix Police chief Jeri Williams went with the recommendation of the board.

“This raises a question,” said Crane. “How did the officer go from hero to zero in 15 months?”

PLEA’s website states what they say happened next:
“PLEA intervened and asked for a meeting and she agreed. Chief Williams came to the PLEA office and we thoroughly briefed her on all aspects of the case. She agreed to give it a re-look and get back with us. PLEA received an email from her on July 28, 2017. Chief Williams indicated she would not reverse the Use of Force Board recommendation. By our count we brought the subject up for discussion on three occasions over a time period of several months."


What Peace Officers Should Do When Being Recorded in Public

1.) React Without Reaction: What Peace Officers Should Do When Being Recorded
The number of viral videos of police encounters has skyrocketed in recent years, bringing with it national scrutiny about officer conduct and agency policies. Some of these videos have...
https://inpublicsafety.com/2018/02/react-without-reaction-what-officers-should-do-when-being-recorded (In Public Safety, American Military University)

2.) In Full View: An Update on the Right to Photograph and Record in Public

The Rights and Limitations of the Public to Record Peace Officers: A Policing Perspective - 12 Tips to Share With Peace Officers Before Filming Makes Them "Stars" http://www.ourdigitalmags.com/publication/?i=292106&article_id=2409258&view=

articleBrowser&ver=html5#{"issue_id":292106,"view":"articleBrowser","article_id":"2409258"} (Sheriff and Deputy Magazine, National Sheriffs' Association)

3.) Training: Media Relations and Social Media Strategies for Law Enforcement Seminar
°Thursday, March 8, 2018 at the LAPD Academy
° Registration information: https://poalac.org/training-course/media-relations-social-media-strategies-law-enforcement/
° A Peace Officers of Los Angeles County (https://poalac.org) Training Seminar

* What works (and what doesn’t!)
* How to handle routine, controversial, and major incidents
* Transparency issues – being open while protecting investigations
* Accuracy issues – pitfalls and corrections
* Social Media strategies – development and implementation * Expert panel discussion – Q&A

* Kate Mather – Reporter, Los Angeles Times
* Chief David Maggard – Los Angeles Airport Police Department
* Cmdr. Michael Parker – Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (Ret.)
* Josh Rubenstein – PIO, Los Angeles Police Department
* Bill Rams – Cornerstone Communications
* Sergeant Saul Gomez – PIO, California Highway Patrol

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Should cops be collecting taxes on top of everything else they do?

Peace officers should not be tax collectors
By Molly Davis,
For the Deseret News

Many police executives have claimed that they do not impose quotas on their officers-but if that were true, then why do they oppose legislation banning them?

It has long been rumored that many police agencies operate under a quota system - one in which officers are required by their superiors to issue a specific number of citations. Whether this is true or not has been difficult to prove because, aside from personal testimony and leaked documents, there is little evidence confirming quotas are used by police departments.

It may be that departments don't have an official written policy on quotas, either implementing or banning them. Instead, some quotas could exist in untraceable means such as word of mouth.

Many Utahns' skepticism of police quotas recently received a boost when a former police officer, Eric Moutsos, publicly alleged in a viral Facebook post that his past employer, the Salt Lake City Police Department, regularly relied on quotas as a means of garnering increased funds for their city.

In later conversations, Moutsos disclosed that quotas were repeatedly used as an objective tool for officer evaluation. Officers would be rewarded or punished based on these expected performance metrics. He also indicated that it was virtually impossible to advance in one's career without increasing your numbers, whether it was citations issued or arrests made. According to Moutsos, officers seeking transfer or promotion to better units within the field of police work are often evaluated based heavily on how many citations and arrests they have on their track record. Police departments often contend that this is a matter of measuring productivity and tracking work.

But Moutsos' testimony is not the only evidence of quotas being used in Utah. Leaked emails from the Cottonwood Heights Police Department in 2013 showed that prizes were given out as incentives to officers who reached certain quotas.

Additionally, an audit of the Provo Police Department revealed that "officers felt that they were required to meet a quota of different kinds of traffic violations including, but not limited to, parking, equipment and moving violations." Some officers felt they had been "passed over for promotion and transfer based on the arbitrary requirement of a certain amount of activity in selected patrol categories, most notably traffic enforcement."

Former state Rep. Carl Wimmer, previously a police officer for both West Valley and South Jordan, admitted he "had to write three tickets every day. That was a quota, and they exist."

It's been a decade since the Legislature explored the issue. Neil Hansen, a former Utah House member, sought to ban police quotas in 2008 and again in 2009. Both bills failed, in part due to opposition from police executives across the state. However, the Utah State Fraternal Order of Police has consistently supported banning quotas.

Many police executives have claimed that they do not impose quotas on their officers - but if that were true, then why would some oppose legislation banning them? Others claim quotas should not be banned because they are a good tool for evaluating an officer's performance. But if quotas are as helpful and good as they claim, then why do police departments often try to hide any evidence that they are using quotas?

The arguments against banning quotas simply don't add up. And although some law enforcement executives may be vocal in the fight against banning quotas, many police officers are silent in their support of prohibiting this practice, fearing professional retribution for speaking up.

Most peace officers enter into a career in law enforcement because of a desire to keep their community safe. They signed up to be a peace officer in the truest sense of the word - not a revenue generating robot whose purpose is to boost the city budget.

The Legislature should prohibit quotas in Utah, just as multiple other states have done such as Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Florida. Tickets will still continue to be given and fines will still be paid. And rather than being stuck chasing drivers down for actions that have not endangered anyone, officers will be freed up to focus on actual threats to public safety.

In a world without quotas, officers would be given the opportunity to fully perform their jobs through proactive policing where they can use their discretion to prioritize public safety without the threat of being punished for not writing a high number of tickets each day. Utahns would better be able to trust that the police officers are patrolling the streets for the purpose of safety, not monetary gain.

Molly Davis is a policy analyst at Libertas Institute.
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