A Lucas County common pleas judge has ordered the city into arbitration with the Toledo Police Command Officers’ Association to settle grievances filed by the union nearly three years ago.
Judge Gary Cook issued an order Thursday granting the union’s request to order the city into arbitration. The union had filed the complaint in 2010, after the city refused to enter arbitration to settle three grievances filed in the months before.
“In sum, the court finds that that defendant city has not shown that any of the grievances … of plaintiff TPCOA’s complaint are not subject to arbitration pursuant to [the union’s collective bargaining agreement,]” the judge opined. “Rather, the court finds that each of those grievances falls within the plain and ordinary meaning of [the contract’s section governing grievance procedure] and is, therefore, subject to arbitration.”
The union, which represents about 135 command officers, initially filed grievances after the city imposed changes in the contract citing “exigent circumstances.” The union grieved changes in pension contributions, violation of a “me too” provision, and wage decreases.
The grievances were filed after the March 30, 2010, decision by Toledo City Council to declare “the existence of exigent circumstances allegedly requiring the unilateral modification of certain provisions of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement,” the opinion said.
In response to the grievances, the union received notice from the city that because the complaints involved “unilateral changes” to the contract voted on by council, the city would not process the grievance further.
Judge Cook ruled in the 22-page order that this stance was in violation of the grievance procedure outlined in the union’s contract.
Many of the financial concessions that led to the filing of the grievances since have been rescinded.