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2013 Middletown Police Department Arbitration Award

2013 Middletown Police Department Arbitration Award

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Published by Barbara Miller
2013 Middletown Police Department Arbitration Award
2013 Middletown Police Department Arbitration Award

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Published by: Barbara Miller on Sep 17, 2013
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09/19/2013

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AMERICAN
ARBITRATION
ASSOCIATION
In
the
Matter
of
Arbitration Between:
MIDDLETOWN
BOROUGH
POLICEOFFICERS
ASSOCIATION
AAA
Case#14
360
L
121712
(Act
111
Interest Arbitration)and
MIDDLETOWNBOROUGH
Hearing Date:
2/7/13
Panel
of
Arbitrators
Jason
M.
Weinstock, Esquire
IRA
H.
WEINSTOC~
P.C.
Police-Appointed
Arbitrator
Adam Santucci, Esquire
McNEES WALLACE
&
NURICK LLC
Borough-Appointed
ArbitratorWalt
De
Treux, EsquireImpartial
Arbitrator
and
Panel Chair
FOREWARD
The
undersigned
arbitrators
were
duly
appointed
as
the
Board
of
Arbitration
pursuant
to
the
provisions of Section
4(b)
of
the
Act
of
June 24,
1968,
P.L.
237, as
amended.
43
P.S.
§217.4(b)
(Act
111) and
the
procedures
of
the
Philadelphia Office
of
the
American Arbitration Association.
The
Board acknowledges
that
the parties
agreed
to waive
the
time limits
under
Act 111. A
hearing
in this
matter was
conducted
on
February
7,
2013
at
the
Borough offices in Middletown, Pennsylvania,
at
which
time
both
parties had
a full
and
fair
opportunity
to
present
documentary
1
 
and
other
evidence, examine and cross-examine
witnesses, and
offer
argument
in
support
of
their
respective positions.In reviewing
the
evidence, a
majority of
the
Panel
have
concluded
that
the
Borough is experiencing
serious
financial circumstances.
The
Borough
has had
a
structural
deficit in
the
General Fund since
at least
1998,
which
is covered
by
revenue
from its electrical
operations.
In 2012,
it
had an
operational
deficit of
more
than
$2.7 million. Its
revenues
have fallen as its
costs have
increased. Further, it iscarrying several million dollars in
unfunded pension and
other
post-employment
benefits liability.
The
financial
situation has
led
the
Borough to
consider
declaring
distressed
municipality
statusunder
Act 47.
In
August 2012,
the Commonwealth
ofPennsylvania
Department of
Community
and
Economic
Developmentapproved
the
Borough's application for
participation
in its Early
Intervention
Program,
whichhasprovided
funding for
the
Borough to develop a five-year financial
management
planto
address
its fiscal situation. Creation and
implementation
of the
EIP will hopefullylead
the
Borough
away
from
the
drastic
step
of invoking Act 4 7 status.At
the
same
time,
the
officers covered
by
this collective bargaining
agreement
have
seen
their workload increase
as
the
number
of full-time officers
has
decreased. It
cannot
be
seriously disputed
that
they
earn
each
dollar they make andeverybenefit
to which
they are
entitled.In reaching
the
following Award,
the
Panel
hasattempted
to balance
the
Borough's financial
concerns with
the
need
to
appropriately
compensate
the
bargaining unit. Savings
should
be
realized
operationally
in
the
short
term
and
2
 
structurally
in
the
long term. The bargaining
unit
will
see
increases
in
theircompensation package withthe
opportunity
to
expand
on
thoseincreasesthrough
a
reopener
in Years 3
and
4 of
the
contract,
assuming the
Borough
has and
isachieving fiscal stability.With
those concerns
inmind
and
following Executive Sessions
of the
Board
of
Arbitration,
the
following Award
was
adopted by
a
majority of the
Board.
AWARD
1.
Term
The
term
of
the
agreement
shall
be
for four ( 4) years,
commencingJanuary
1,
2013
and continuing until
December
31, 2016.
2.
Employment
Security (Article
4)
Article 4 shall
be
deleted in its entirety, as it
addresses
a
non-mandatory
subject of
bargaining over
which the
Borough
has
not
agreed
to bargain.
The
following language shall
be
added
as
the
new
Article 4 (Seniority),"Seniority shall
be
determinedbydate
of
hire. In
the
event
of
layoff, officers shall
be
laid off in
reverse
order
ofseniority. Laid off officers shall
be
recalled according toseniority.
An
officer shall
have
recall
rights
for a
period oftwenty-four
(24)
months.
Should an officer decline recall,his recall rights shall terminate."
3.
Wages
(Article 5)
The
base
wages
for all bargaining
unit
employees
shall
be
increased
according to
the
following schedule:Effective January1, 2014 ............................
2%
Effective July
1,
2014
................................... 1
o/o
3
'

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