Fri April 5, 2013
KC Cop Bargainers Ease Union Tensions
Collective bargainers for Kansas City Police officers have put on hold collection of a controversial special fee from officers who don’t pay dues.
Fraternal Order of Police leaders will not immediately ask for discipline against those who have not paid.
A legal settlement allowed the FOP to collect a $73 special assessment from officers who did not pay dues.
The decision was an outgrowth of a lawsuit filed by the Fraternal Order against the Board of Police Commissioners. The payment is included in the contract the order has with the police governing board and is known as a “fair-share.”
The payment was to cover legal fees for work the FOP did to raise pay and pension benefits for all officers.
FOP leader Brad Lemon said the timing to collect payment was wrong, too many issues on the table, including a possible change in governance of the department. “It’s a lot for an organization to take at one time. And we didn’t want to pit brother and sister against each other,” Lemon said.
The FOP has not taken a stand on the heated issue of state versus local control of the Department, and Lemon said the Fraternal Order is studying the benefits and pitfalls of changing the current system.