Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Some CPD officers seek to join Teamsters Local 142

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Within the next 30 to 60 days, full-time employees of the Chesterton Police Department--both sworn officers and civilians--could put unionization to the vote.

At the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Paul Berkowitz, attorney for Teamsters Local 142, presented a petition to members which he said was signed by 13 CPD employees, requesting the scheduling of an election on unionization.

Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann said that, once he’s verified that the signatures represent 30 percent of the CPD’s full-time workforce, an election will be set within the statutory 30- to 60-day period.

Lukmann told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that a unionized Police Department would look a lot like the already unionized Fire Department.

Thus members of International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 4600--representing the CFD--may meet at the fire station, post notices on the bulletin board at the station, hold elections at the station, and have their dues deducted from their paycheck and remitted by the town to the IAFF.

The town, for its part, retains all rights which are ordinarily vested in and exercised by employees: or as IC 36-8-22 defines them, the right to hire, promote, suspend, and discharge and the right to “maintain the efficiency of governmental operations.”

One other provision of 36-8-22: it prohibits public safety employees from engaging in work stoppages and strikes.

Local 4600 was recognized by the town several years ago. At the time, Lukmann noted that its membership understood clearly, going into the negotiation process, “that the Town of Chesterton can’t bind itself to future financial obligations and can’t treat different municipal employees differently.”

Grant Application

In other business, members voted unanimously to authorize Police Chief Dave Cincoski to apply for a no-match $400 grant from the Porter County Substance Abuse Council.

Cincoski said that the grant would be applied to the purchase of gear for the K-9 units.

Ambulance Out of Service

Meanwhile, Fire Chief Mike Orlich reported that the new ambulance is temporarily out of service with an air-conditioning malfunction.

The back-up ambulance is on station.

 

Posted 7/23/2013