Bloomington mayor: Proposed 2021 budget will reduce sworn police from 105 to 100

During a panel discussion with other city officials, live streamed Thursday afternoon on Facebook, Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton put numbers to an idea he mentioned in a speech two weeks ago.

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The 2021 budget proposal, which the mayor will eventually present to the city council in mid-to-late August, would reduce the number of sworn officer positions with the Bloomington police department (BPD) from 105 to 100.

The budget is scheduled for adoption in October.

The idea is to re-allocate the money for five sworn officers to at least five new non-sworn positions—a mix of social workers and neighborhood resource specialists, Hamilton said.

The move comes in the context of calls nationwide and locally to “defund the police.” Continue reading “Bloomington mayor: Proposed 2021 budget will reduce sworn police from 105 to 100”

Union head on police contract OK’d by city council: “I would be remiss if I told you the members were happy about it.”

Bloomington police officers now have a contract with the city for the next three years, through the end of 2020. The four-year deal, approved by the city council on Wednesday night, stretches back to the beginning of 2019, when the current contract expired.

Officers have been working this year under an “evergreen” clause of the old contract.

The 2-percent raise for this year was not applied retroactively, though it feeds into the schedule of raises each year for the next three years, which range from 2.65 to 2.9 percent.

Instead of applying the raise retroactively, which according to city staff would have been administratively too complex, officers received a $1,000 bonus. The bonus is about $60 less than 2 percent of the base salary for an officer, which was $52,916 in 2018.

Paul Post, who’s president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Don Owens Memorial Lodge 88, told the city council that the main point of contention—about which the union members were not happy—was a move away from seniority as the sole factor in determining shift assignments.

The council approved the contract and the salary ordinance as separate items. The votes were unanimous. Continue reading “Union head on police contract OK’d by city council: “I would be remiss if I told you the members were happy about it.””

New four-year Bloomington police contract could get one-step approval by city council next week

Negotiations between Bloomington and its police union, which have lasted the better part of two years, concluded in mid-November with ratification by the union of a new four-year contract.

The contract runs through 2022. The agreement and its corresponding salary ordinance appear on the city council’s meeting agenda next week for Wednesday, Dec. 4. The new agreement includes raises each year between 2 and 2.9 percent. Continue reading “New four-year Bloomington police contract could get one-step approval by city council next week”

Police union votes to accept Bloomington offer, city council consideration not yet scheduled

Bloomington police officers have voted, albeit reluctantly, to accept the city’s most recent contract offer, according to the president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Paul Post.

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A close-up of  a BPD officer’s uniform at the Nov. 14, 2019 meeting of the Bloomington city council.  Under city code, the  police chief, or their designee, is the sergeant of arms at the city council, so an officer is always assigned to meetings. (Dave Askins/Beacon) 

Police officers have been working during 2019 under an “evergreen” clause of their contract, which expired at the end of 2018.

Post told The Beacon that the voting by the union membership was concluded. An official acceptance of the city’s proposal was sent on Thursday, Post said.

The latest city offer was conveyed at an Oct. 24 meeting. According to Post, both the mediator and the union’s legal counsel had recommended that the union membership vote yes.

Without an agreement before the end of the year, Bloomington police officers would start 2020 without a contract. Post said that union members did not want to lose the protections of a contract. Continue reading “Police union votes to accept Bloomington offer, city council consideration not yet scheduled”

Bloomington police union gets latest contract proposal from city

One piece of unfinished business from Oct. 10, when the Bloomington city council approved the rest of the 2020 budget  was the salary ordinance for police officers and firefighters.

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An officer from Bloomington Police department is assigned for duty at city council meetings. (Dave Askins/Beacon)

That final piece of business could be finished by the end of the year, after a meeting on Oct. 24, between city officials and the police union.  The city presented the union with its latest proposal for a contract, president of Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Paul Post told The Beacon.

In late September, union officers told the city council at regular meeting that since mid-2018, the two sides had exchanged eight proposals, each with a counterproposal, for a total of 16 proposals. The most recent meeting would make nine rounds for a total of 18 proposals exchanged.

The city’s most recent proposal could lead to ratification by the union, and the approval  of the salary ordinance for public safety workers by the end of the year. The contract for the firefighters is not an open question, but the salary ordinance lumps police officers and firefighters into the same piece of legislation. Continue reading “Bloomington police union gets latest contract proposal from city”