Once again, the frosty relations between the City and the union representing police officers are heating up.
This time it's the City filing an unfair labor practice complaint, charging FOP Lodge 7 is misleading it's members by negatively commenting on shift changes the Administration wants.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported recently the shift changes were generating considerable concern among the city's rank-and-file police officers; Police Chief James Nice was working on a reorganization plan that takes into account far fewer police officers than in past years, and the newspaper account noted the number of police officers had shrunk over the past decade from 500 to 404 officers.
Nice told the newspaper his plan would not impact "90 percent" of current officers.
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(City of Akron - Mayor's Office) The City has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Fraternal Order of Police, Akron Lodge #7 (FOP), alleging that the FOP has violated Ohio’s Collective Bargaining Act by convincing its members that the temporary shift change agreement previously negotiated by the City and Union is not subject to further negotiation and that the FOP has tainted its members’ opinions about the restructuring of the Akron Police Department prior to even beginning discussions.
The City states that the FOP has used its public Facebook page, the Akron Police Daily Bulletin, and emails to its members to mislead its members. The FOP‘s inflammatory statements have even gone so far as to claim that the City is holding patrol officers for ransom during negotiations and using them as pawns before ever sitting down to talk.
“Both sides have to play by the rules of the Collective Bargaining Act,” said Patricia Ambrose Rubright, Interim Labor Relations Director. “The FOP is using all means possible to destroy any talk of change in department operations.”