Policy change comes with $28,000 price tag for WPD

Wichita Police (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – It’s a simple agreement between the union and Wichita Police Department: when policies are changed, the union must be involved in the negotiations, but now the union says it didn’t get enough say.

“Sometime ago, the FOP, the police union which represents Wichita police officers, filed a grievance on behalf of numerous officers,” said Steve Bukaty, attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police, “over some various policy changes the department had implemented without bargaining with the union”

The issue is a policy put in place in January of 2011 to deal with officers that have cited through internal investigations for lying or misconduct. The city says the union was *always part of the negotiations.

“We had talked to them from the get go,” said Deputy Chief John Speer, “it’s just that in the policy development it was decided that we should go back to the table 06 on it and talk more about the things that we as staff in trying to mitigate the impact that these employees had”

But union leaders say they never agreed to some of the provisions, so some officers filed a grievance through the union.
“It affected officers ability to work off duty, it affected officers ability to bid on special assignments,” said Bukaty, “it affected some officers ability to stay in the positions they were in it was very involved.”

Bukaty says there were anywhere from 20 to 30 officers involved, by Wednesday there were only 13 and that day, a settlement was finally reached costing the police department and tax payers $28,000.

“We’re not saying we didn’t handle this correctly at all, there’s always two sides to the story,” said Speer, “and what we’re doing is going back to the table to discuss this further.”

Wichita Police Department Policy 905

Agenda item from City of Wichita City Council Meeting:

May 20, 2014

TO: Mayor and City Council

SUBJECT: Payment for Settlement of Grievance

INITIATED BY: Law Department

AGENDA: Consent
______________________________________________________________________________

Recommendation: Authorize payment of $27,952.00 as a full settlement for all grievance
claims filed by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5 arising out of the Wichita Police
Department implementation of Policy 905.

Background: This claim arises out the implementation of Policy 905 by the Wichita Police
Department. The FOP filed both a grievance and a matter before the Public Employee Relations
Board (PERB) alleging violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Analysis: The FOP has agreed to accept a lump sum payment of $27,952.00 as settlement of
Policy 905 grievance claims against the City of Wichita. Due to the uncertainty and risk of an
adverse judgment at a hearing of this matter, the Law Department recommends the settlement.
The settlement of this claim does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the City or
the employee; rather, it is merely a settlement to resolve a disputed claim.

Financial Considerations: Funding for this settlement payment is to be obtained from the
Police budget. Finance is authorized to make any budget adjustments necessary for payment of
the settlement. Recipients of these funds will be taxed in accordance with wage and hour laws.

Legal Considerations: The Law Department recommends settlement of this claim for the
amount of $27,952.00.

Recommendations/Actions: It is recommended that the City Council authorize payment of
$27,952.00 as full monetary settlement of all claims.

 

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