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Falls Police Union Says Village Violated Bargaining Agreement

The Falls police union is locked in a civil suit with the village regarding changes to its health care payments and provider.

The Menomonee Falls Police Association is locked in a civil suit with the village regarding changes to its members health care plan.

The MFPA Local 313 is the union that represents law enforcement personnel in the department. The union alleges the village violated the terms of its 2011-12 collective bargaining agreement when it switched health insurance providers to Humana as a cost saving measure.

The Village Board approved its 2013 budget Nov. 19. As part of the budget, the village switched MFPA member’s health care provider to Humana. The MFPA contends that change violated its agreement with the village.

According to the MFPA's 2011-12 collective bargaining agreement with the village, all union members must be given 60 days notice of health care changes. Additionally, the benefits and coverage levels must be greater than or equal to 2007-08 benefit levels. Furthermore, parameters in 2011-12 agreement would remain in place until a new agreement is reached.

The MFPA claims the village violated those terms of the agreement. In December, an attorney representing the union filed an injunction to prevent MFPA members from paying the higher rates for Humana. However, a judge declined that request.

Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald declined to comment about the MFPA’s civil suit. He withheld comment until the village officially files its response to the allegations with the Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) January 07, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Di Atribe, you are a hypocrite. Why should I take the advice from someone who has the alias meaning "a bitter attack"? I'm jealous by the way.
W . Benz January 08, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Steve again employers can lock of union employees or not agreed to a CBA . The employer can hire people to cross the picket line and Hire permanent replacements workers . Remember the Baseball /football and other strikes that hired replacements.
Di Atribe January 10, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Police officers, and to a lesser extent firefighters, are pretty much the only employees who should be covered by a strong union. No other profession has the scrutiny for their daily schedule and interactions, the constant accusations of wrongdoing by disgruntled criminals (which should be investigated--I'm not saying there are no bad cops--just exponentially fewer than most people want to believe), the need to be constantly trained and proficient with firearms and tactical situations, and the continuous need to be ready to help people when they are called for assistance. Many people want to hate cops because of the speeding tickets they may get, or because they are blinded by the couple of news stories a year of officers who did something wrong and let their fellow professionals down. The numbers don't play out for the suspicions. I would bet 99.5% of the cops are what we expect of them. Add in the job's propensity to have employees who get hurt arresting drunks and belligerent wife-beaters (not every incident makes the papers--lilly-white Menomonee Falls has its fair share of drug addicts, drunks, and wife-beaters causing problems and refusing to be arrested), the need is there for a seawall of protection for the employees in order to let due-process take hold over headline-grabbing emotions. The change in the healthcare policy is a good idea, and should be pushed through. But it needs to be pushed through according to the contractual rules of the agreement.
Di Atribe January 10, 2013 at 04:50 PM
I referenced due-process over headline-grabbing emotions in the other post. I have personal knowledge of a high-profile case from a few years back that is testament to the need for strong police union protections. In a nutshell, a couple of officers were accused of not following through with a citizen contact, and then something really bad happened. The public went nuts and the officers were put through the wringer. Behind the scenes the officers were actually told to do their contact procedures a certain way because that chief at that time fell victim to the political pressures of a special-interest group, and the officers followed that "off-the-books" policy. The chief allowed the officers to be publicly scapegoated and lost every appeal. The officers received all their back pay from being suspended and had their jobs reinstated--but only on the condition they keep their mouths shut about the "off-the-books" policy. Without the union those officers wold have been left out in the rain while the chief pretended to know nothing. That chief quickly left to another job, since he no longer had the respect of anyone he was leading. And no, I'm not an officer, and no, it wasn't in our area, but the information is factual. I just don't want to reveal any more detail in case someone involved, or a relative, of the bad incidents read this. It's not fair to them to dredge up details.
Realtycheck January 24, 2013 at 08:04 PM
I think it is shameful & unacceptable the way Fitzgerald changed things. It is a slap in the face to his employees and their respective families. He should be ashamed for what he has done. I'd like to know what his health insurance premiums look like.

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