We last met with the employer on November 28, 2018. At that meeting, the union offered to settle the contract for the same raise as everyone else received – a 2% increase on June 24, 2018 and another 2% increase on January 6, 2019. In exchange for settlement, we asked that all of the current contractual language be carried forward and management formally acknowledges that the Section 7 Negotiated Agreements were still in effect.
Management declined to accept our offer. Their resistance was to the Section 7 agreements.
There are very few employees left who were around when the agreements were placed in Section 7 of the Policy Manual. No one in upper command worked for State Patrol when it happened in 1989. In the days before computers, it was the responsibility of each employee to make sure their policy manual was current.
Our Administrator at that time, Jim Van Sistine, thought it would be a good idea if we filed all of the local negotiated agreements in the policy manual so that management and field personnel knew where to look when they had a question about those agreements.
The current group of managers has the misconception that since the agreements are located in the policy manual, they are actual policies, which are owned by management. Management can change a policy on a whim. Agreements have to be renegotiated.
State Patrol management has been able to follow those agreements for 40 years. It is still a mystery why this current group of managers seem incapable of honoring them. The ones what we deal with every day – vacation, overtime and hours of work – are being followed for the most part. The ones that are less visible, like the Complaint Investigation Agreement, are being trampled by the current regime.
Governor Evers issued two Executive Orders on his first day in office. The first one dealt with Prohibiting Discrimination in State Employment. The second one dealt with Recognizing and Respecting State Employees.
We are looking forward to meeting with the Department of Personnel Management (DPM) under the new administration, and once a new Superintendent is named, we look forward to meeting with the new management team as well. Hopefully, the incoming administration will demonstrate a serious interest in recruitment and retention, and a desire to work collaboratively with the union for the betterment of the entire agency.