The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police reached a deal with the Chicago Police Department, which will allow members to receive compensation for overtime worked during the NATO summit.
However, there are still three outstanding grievances and lingering acrimony between the city and FOP, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, even as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council continue to deify Police Department head Garry McCarthy for his work during the summitt.
The FOP filed a grievance following the summit, which ended May 21st, alleging that the city violated its collective bargaining agreement by not giving officers the choice between compensatory time and overtime pay for extra hours worked. Instead, the city planned to pay the officers for their extra work, but not give the option of compensatory time, which essentially means applying the overtime as credits toward additional paid vacation time.
An anonymous city official told the Chicago Sun-Times last week that the problem stemmed from a paperwork error. Pat Camden, spokesman for the FOP, confirmed in a phone interview that the city agreed this week to give the officers an option of compensatory time.
But Camden says the other grievances remain unresolved. The union contends the city is breaking its labor contract by not awarding officers overtime pay for working a 6th or 7th consecutive day of the week.
Also, the city awarded overtime pay at the start of 12-hour shifts some officers worked instead of the end of the shift. By filing the overtime paperwork this way, the union claims, the city is unlawfully avoiding ‘change of start time’ pay.
The FOP and police department are also awaiting an arbitrator’s decision regarding their grievance filed over the city cancelling furlough days during NATO.
The complaints are being made just a month before the union’s contract expires.
They also come amid unending praise of both rank-and-file officers and McCarthy. At a Chicago City Council meeting yesterday for example, aldermen said McCarthy did a marvelous job fending off NATO protesters, with Ald. Nick Sposato (36th) comparing the police leader to the Mel Gibson character in “Braveheart.”
But while McCarthy has quietly accepted the praise, the police union has used their moment in the sun to criticize city leadership – putting up billboards to implore the city to “Hire More Officers” and accusing Emanuel of refusing to “pay us what we are owed,” even after “we protected the Mayor’s personal residence from anarchists.”