|In the Matter of Interest Arbitration Between EUGENE POLICE EMPLOYEES and the CITY OF EUGENE, OREGON. IA-12-99.
Date of Final Offer to Mediator: 16 August 1999
Date of Posting of Last Best Offer (LBO) to arbitrator: City of Eugene: 18 November 1999; Eugene Police Officers Association: 18 November 1999(1)
Date of Hearing on the matter: 2 and 3 December 1999.
Place of Hearing: Eugene, Oregon
Date of receipt of briefs by the Arbitrator: 10 January 2000
EXHIBITS-By the City
C1 Eugene Police Department organizational chart
C2 Position management chart by classification
C3 Spreadsheet on temp usage FY95-present
C4 Temporary Employment Contract Language
C5 History Of shift holiday payoff
C6 Current balances on personal leave
C7 History of years to cap - Statistics
C8 Holiday language from other jurisdictions - Police and Records
C9 Holiday language from other jurisdictions- Communications
C1O Blue Book list of cities
C11 CPI info
C12 List of comparable jurisdiction data
C13 Recruitment and Turnover Statistics- Police
C14 History of Salary Increases 7/l/89 - 6/30/99
C15 Cumulative Salary Increase 7/l/89 - 6/30/99
C16 Market Survey-Salary History Comparisons - Police Officer
C17 FY98/99 Market Survey-Salary Comparison- Police Officer
C18 Market Survey-Vacation and Holiday Hourly Accrual- Police Officer
C19 Health Insurance Rates and Plan Comparisons - market comparisons
C20 Market Survey - total Compensation PY99/00 - Police
C21 Projected Cost Summary - City
C22 Projected Cost Summary - Union
C23 EPEA Health Insurance Rates for next 3'years - City proposal
C24 EPEA Health Insurance Rates for next 3 years - Union proposal
C25 Exempt cost share language
C26 Health Insurance Employee Premium Compared to Salary ( FYO1-02) - impact of proposal on unit - top step Officer and Communications spec B show premiums as % of wages
C27 EPEA Health Insurance Premium History - historical increase by plan - total cost and premiums
C28 National Trends in Health Insurance
C29 Wages - Comparable Jurisdictions for Communications Specialists
C30 Salary History Comparisons - Communications Specialist
C31 Vacation and Holiday Hourly Accrual - Communications Specialist
C32a Total Compensation (including vacation value) - Communications Specialist
C32b Total Compensation (excluding vacation value) - Communications Specialist
C33 Recruitment and Turnover Statistics - Communications Specialist
C34 June 1998 Salary Comparison - Communications Specialist
C35 Separation Reasons FY 1997 to date
C36 Premium Pay Information as of 8/4/99
C37 DPPST certification requirements
C38 Total Compensation (including vacation value) for Police Officer at 5/10/15 Years
C39 Total Compensation (including vacation value) for Communication Specialist at 5/10/15 Years.
C40 Salary Comparisons - Police Officer
C41 Total Compensation (including/excluding vacation value) - Police Officer
C42 Total Compensation (including vacation values) for Police Officer at 5/10/15 years
C43 Memorandum Re: Part-time Employees Health Insurance Options FY 2000
C44 Health Insurance Costs for Part-Time Employees - contribution calculations
C45 EPEA Salary Schedule By Class title - 7/l/98-6/30/99
C46 City of Corvallis and Corvallis Police Officers' Association Contract 7/l/97-6/30/00
C47 Corvallis Police Officers' Association Salary Schedule - FY 1998-1999
C48 Corvallis Police Officers' Association Salary Schedule - FY 1999/2000
C49 City of Hillsboro and Hillsboro Police Officers' Association contract 7/l/98- 6/30/01
C50 City of Hillsboro Pay Plan - 1998-99
C51 City of Hillsboro Pay Plan - 1999-2000
C52 City of Medford and Teamsters Local Union No. 223 ( Police) contract - 7/l/98-6/30/01
C53 City of Medford salary schedule - FY 1998-1999
C54 City of Medford salary schedule - FY 1999-2000
C55 City of Springfield and Springfield Police Association contract ( Article 18 - Compensation)- 7/l/96-6/30/99
C56 City of Springfield and Springfield Police Association contract 7/l/99-6/30/01
C57 City of Springfield salary schedule 1996/1997
C58 City of Springfield salary schedule 1999/2000
C59 June 28, 1991 memorandum from Sandra Henry re Backgrounding Employees
C60 March 15, 1993 memorandum from Dave Whitlow re: Backgrounding Volunteers/Work Study
C61 Tentative agreement on vacations dates May 26, 1999
C62 National Survey of Employer-sponsored Health Plans 199
Exhibits-By the Association
A1 Expired Collective Bargaining Agreement
A2 Modified Association Last Best Offer
A3 City Last Best Offer
A4 ORS 243.650 - Definitions
A5 ORS 243,746 - Arbitration Procedure
A6 Population of Comparable Jurisdictions
A7 Collective Bargaining Agreement between Gresham and Gresham Police Officers' Association
A8 Collective Bargaining Agreement between Beaverton and Teamsters' Local#223
A9 Collective Bargaining Agreement between Salem and Salem Police Employees' Union
A10 Collective Bargaining Agreement between City of Eugene and Eugene Firefighters' Association.
A11 City of Eugene General Fund Six-Year Financial Forecast FYO I through FY06
A12 Budget Committee November 10, 199 Report
A13 Proposed Budget Summary FY2000
A14 Proposed Budget FY2000
A15 Presentation on Proposed FY2000 Budget
A16 May 7, 1999 job posting
A17 25 Least Affordable Metro Areas
A18 Wage Comparability Charts - Police Officers
A19 Wage Comparability Charts - - Association Proposal
A20 Health Insurance Plan Documents, Beaverton
A21 Health Insurance Plan Documents: Gresham
A22 Health Insurance Plan Documents: Salem
A23 Health Insurance Plans: City of Eugene
A24 AFSCME Contract
A25 Eugene Police Department Temporary Employee Usage 1997, 1998
A26 Memo extending Part-time Employee MOU
A27 Wages Impacted by City Comp/Holiday Proposal
A28 1993 Negotiation notes regarding comp/holiday max
A29 1992 Negotiation notes regarding comp/holiday max
A30 E-Mail from Ken Saxon to Helen Towle regarding a temp hire - dated October 30, 1997.
The Eugene Police Department includes five divisions: Patrol I (includes sector officers and community policing), Investigations (includes burglary/auto theft, fraud unit, violent crimes, school resources and FEU and PCU which includes forensics and property specs), Special Operations (includes INET, reserves, special teams, special investigations, traffic enforcement, K-9 unit, and RDU) Operations Support (includes training, public information, operations support, court liaison, and financial services), and Technical Services (includes data and records, crime analysis, and communications.(2) There are 284.5 positions in the Department.
The Eugene Police Employees' Association is the certified bargaining unit for the department and its members work in all of the divisions of the agency. Its members comprise 218 of the positions in the Department.(3)
The Eugene Police Department and the Eugene Police Employees' Association have been unable to agree on several parts of a collective bargaining contract to begin on July 1, 1999. According to the Association they are "parties to a Collective Bargaining Agreement which expired in 1996... Due to subsequent litigation over the mandatory and/or permissive nature of several proposals, the 1996 Collective bargaining Agreement was never finalized."(4)
According to the City the contract which expired in 1996 was extended to 1999.(5)
Both parties are proposing changes in a document which expired on 30 June 1999. They have pursued the negotiations through procedures according to the rules of the Oregon Employment Relations Board, Oregon Laws,(6) and are now in interest Arbitration.
Oregon Administration Rules of the Employment Relations Board Regarding Aspects of Interest Arbitration.
Interest arbitration, different from grievance arbitration in a number of respects, is determined by the Oregon legislature and administered by the Employment Relations Board. The Board has issued the administrative rules regarding interest arbitration. The following excerpts appear to have particular significance to this dispute.
"Each party shall submit to the other party a written last best offer package on all unresolved mandatory subjects not less than 14 days prior to the date of hearing. Neither party may change its last best offer package unless pursuant to stipulation of the parties; except that if a party provides notice of a change in its position within 24 hours of the 14-day deadline, the other party will be allowed an additional 24 hours to modify its position"(7)
" . . . The arbitrator shall select only one of the last best offer packages submitted by the parties."(8)
Criteria. The arbitrator shall base his/her findings, opinions and order upon the following criteria, giving first priority to subsection (a) and secondary priority to subsections (b ) to (h).
(a) The interest and welfare of the public.
(b) The reasonable financial ability of the unit of government to meet the costs of the proposed contract giving due consideration and weighs to the other services, provided by, and other priorities of, the unit of government as determined by the governing body. A: reasonable operating reserve against future contingencies, which does not include funds in contemplation of settlement of the labor dispute, shall not be considered as available toward a settlement.
(c) The ability of the unit of government to attract and retain qualified personnel at the wage and benefit levels provided.
(d) The overall compensation presently received by the employees, including direct wage compensation, vacations, holidays and other paid excused time, pensions, insurance, benefits, and all other direct or indirect monetary benefits received.
(e) Comparison of the overall compensation of other employees performing similar services with the same or other employers in comparable communities. As used in this subsection, "comparable" is limited to communities of the same or nearest population range within Oregon.
(f) The CPI- All Cities Index, commonly known as the cost of living.
(g) The stipulations of the parties.
(h) Such other factors, consistent with subsections (a) to (g) of this section as are traditionally taken into consideration in the determination of wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment. However, the arbitrator shall not use such other factors, if in the judgment of the arbitrator, the factors in subsections (a) to (g) of this section provide sufficient evidence for an award.(9)
Arbitration Decision Final and Binding; ... The arbitration decision shall be final and binding upon the parties and based on the factors set forth in section (8) of this rule and if supported by competent, material and substantial evidence on the whole record of the arbitration hearing ...(10)
REVIEW OF CRITERIA AND CONSTRAINTS
The Oregon laws (ORS 243.746) and the ERB rules, cited above, have encountered some problems in application. Let's look at those rules and some of the problems in application that are significant in the instant matter.
Interest and welfare of the public.
There is inadequate definition of this criteria in both the legislative action and the ERB rules. Examination of the history of the legislation gives no clear cue as to just what this criteria was intended to mean. However, we may be guided in the instant matter by the Black's Law Dictionary:.
Public Interest is defined as "Something in which the public, the community at large, has some pecuniary interest, or some interest by which their legal rights and liabilities are affected. It does not mean anything so narrow as mere curiosity, or as the interests of the particular localities, which may be affected by the matters in question."(11)
Public Welfare is defined as "The prosperity, well-being, or convenience of the public at large, or of a whole community, as distinguished from the advantage of an individual or limited case...it embraces the primary social interests of safety, order, morals, economic interest, and non-material and political interests... In the development of our civic life, the definition .. has also developed until it has been held to bring within its purview regulations for the promotion of economic welfare and public convenience."(12)
By the above definitions we may infer that any and all issues regarding a contract between a City and its Police Force totally involves the public welfare because the Police Department as a whole exists for the convenience of the public at large in the interest of safety, order, morals, economic interest, and non-material and political interests. Thus, any specific consideration such as a wage rate, insurance rate and coverage, use of temporary employees and part time help is included because a Police contract with a City affects the public welfare and the public welfare is also affected by the personal welfare of the officers the City employs to carry out its mission. It is not an "either-or" condition in matters involving an agency such as a police department. The public welfare in a police agency is involved in all aspects of the agency management and administration and of the employees of the agency.
Consequentially, essential elements of "Public Welfare" are included in the secondary level of the criteria. Accordingly, to the degree that the parties positions meet the secondary standards they also serve the "Public Welfare." Comparable Communities
The rules are allegedly explicit in regard to comparing " communities." "The same or nearest population range within Oregon" suggests a standard of comparison. However there are other factors which help in determining comparability between city jurisdictions.
Selecting representative and comparable communities is not easily done. A basic description of comparability generally used in the field is found in Elkouri and Elkouri: "Ideally comparable communities ought to be located nearby in the same labor market ... be of similar territorial size and population density, draw upon similar resources and tax bases, have a similar mix of commercial, industrial and residential properties with similar need for police protection, and maintain similarly sized Police Departments."(13)
However, the Oregon rule places two specific restrictions on comparability in section e of the rules: "comparison of the overall compensation (underline mine) of other employees..." and "...limited to communities of the same or nearest (underline mine) population range..."
In the instant case each party proposes a different set of so called "Comparable" communities. The Association proposed Beaverton, Gresham, and Salem.(14) The City extended this list by adding Hillsboro, Medford and Springfield.(15)
However there is only one city in Oregon with a truly comparable population range in 1998. According to the parties reference to the Oregon Blue Book Salem is within 2% of Eugene in its population (Eugene= 133,460 and Salem=126,635(16)). Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Medford, and Springfield range from 37% to 61% below Eugene in population.
Thus, to compare according to the "nearest population range' only one other city in Oregon approaches Eugene. Other cities with significantly smaller populations may become it nearest" without actually having- a "comparable" population other than that they are next to Salem in line of population. The next "nearest" city is Gresham but it is 37% below Eugene in population (83,595 for Gresham vs 133, 460 for Eugene) Even though this is the next nearest city to Eugene it is of such significant population size difference that to compare it and other smaller cities to Eugene does not provide substantial nor reasonable basis for comparison.
Salem and Eugene have other comparabilities.. They are close enough to draw on a similar labor market, have similar needs for local police protection, and have a comparable mix of commercial, public, and residential properties.
Now the rule refers to "communities" rather than cities and therefore might be interpreted to allow the parties to include populations of a concentrated area beyond a city. Thus the Eugene-Springfield cities could be classified as a community. Likewise a whole county or segment of a county including several cities."(17) But these data do not provide clear and usable information for comparison with Eugene alone because of the differences in structure, funding, and location. Thus the only reasonably comparable city in regard to size, proximity of population and other factors to Eugene is Salem.
Stipulations by the Parties
There were no joint stipulations by the parties regarding the criteria for decision by the arbitrator.
In the opinion of the arbitrator the legislative and ERB criteria elucidates a standard on which data provided by the parties must be evaluated. Other factors, therefore, do not appear important in this instance.
LAST BEST OFFER OF THE PARTIES
"All previously agreed upon tentative agreements. Current contract language for all other articles except:
Article 16. Salaries: Current contract language except:
(a) Salaries for all bargaining unit members shall be adjusted as follows:
July 1, 1999 - The salaries for all bargaining unit employees shall be increased by 3.5%
January 1, 2000 - The salaries for all employees in the Communication Specialist A,B,C classifications shall be increased by 1%
July 1, 2000 - the salaries for all bargaining unit employees shall be increased an amount equal to all cities CPI-W, January to January, with a minimum of three (3) percent and a maximum of five (5) percent.
January 1, 2001 - the salaries for all employees in the Communications Specialist A,B,C classifications shall be increased by 1%.
July 1, 2001 - the salaries for all bargaining unit employees shall be increased by an amount equal to all cities CPI-W, January to January, with a minimum of three (3) percent and a maximum of five (5) percent.
January 1,2002 - The salaries for all employees in the Communication Specialist A,B,C classifications shall be increased by I%.
Article 23 - Health and Accident Insurance - Current language except:
(b) The City will provide fully paid coverage at the current benefit levels for all three years of this agreement.
Article 43 -Termination
(b) This agreement shall be effective July 1, 1999 and shall be binding upon the City, the Association, and its members, and shall remain in full force and effect through June 30, 2002.
(d) After June 20, 2002, this agreement shall automatically be reviewed from year to year and shall be binding for addition periods of one (1) year unless either the City or the Association gives written notice to the other on or about December 1, next prior to the aforesaid expiration date of the agreement of its desire to modify the agreement. Negotiations shall commence within two (2) weeks of such notice. The agreement shall remain in full force and effect during the period of negotiations and any subsequent impasse proceeding."
OPEN ARTICLES WITH PROPOSED CHANGES
Article 1. Recognition
-Addition of temporary employment language.(18)
Article 10. Salaries
-Reflects a 3% pay increase effective 7/l/99
-Increases effective 7/l/00 and 7/l/91 will be based on CPI-U (Jan to Jan. -with a minimum of 2.5% and a maximum of 5%.
-Communication Specialists will receive an additional I% each year of the contract.(19)
Article 17. Hours-Overtime.
-Separate the maximum accruals for compensatory time and holiday.(20) Article 18. Time Off in Lieu of Holidays
-Restricts payoff over the maximum accrual to when the employee has been unable to take time off.(21)
Article 23. Health and Accident Insurance
-Adds language requiring cost sharing of the premium for dependents beginning with the 3rd year of the contract. Employee coverage will continue to be fully paid by the employer.
Article 43. Termination
-Reflects a three year agreement.
Appendix A Salary Schedule
-... will reflect the salary increase as outlined in Article 16: Appendix B will be deleted since there is no specified salary increase for the 2nd and 3rd year.
Appendix D. Medical Insurance Benefit Summary Comparisons.
-Reflect addition of domestic partner coverage which was implemented 1/l/99
DELETE THE FOLLOWING MEMORANDUMS OF UNDERSTANDING.
... on canceling POPAT testing 3/8/96
... on amending the 1994-95 bargaining agreement 11/22/94
... on implementing POPAT testing 10/5/92
... on clarification to POPAT implementation10/5/92
EXTEND THE FOLLOWING MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
... on extending MOU on Part-time employees.
1. Temporary Employment ( Article 1. Recognition)
The City proposes changes in Article I to include temporary employees in the contract between the parties, to move the list of bargaining unit employees from the Appendix of the last contract and to eliminate Darkroom Specialist 1295, Evidence Tech 1320, and Com.Res. Officer 1284 from the list.(22)
The Association proposed a continuation of the status quo on this matter.(23) The current contract does not provide for temporary employees and they have been considered 14 outside the bargaining unit thereby.(24)
2. Salaries & Wages (Article 16)
The City proposes a 3% pay increase beginning 7/l/99 with increases on 7/1/00, and 7/l/01 based on CPI with minimum of 2.5% and maximum of 5%. Communication Specialists receive an additional I% each year of the contract. A minimum cumulative increase of 11.4%(25)
The Association proposes a 3.5% pay increase beginning on 7/l/99 with other increases essentially the same as the City proposal and a cumulative total of 13.1 %(26)
3. Hours-Overtime (Article 17)
The City proposes changing Article 17 (e.) from 200 hours accrual of personal time and holiday time to 80 hours of compansable time, and to add, "Employees who are above the maximum accrual when this agreement is implemented will be allowed to retain that time but will receive all overtime in pay until they drop below the maximum accrual.(27)
The Association made no proposal in this article and argued to continue the present practice.
4. Time Off in Lieu of Holidays. ( Article 18.)
The City proposes changing Article 18 to eliminate the accrual of 13 days personal time per year in lieu of holidays, changing section (a) to include the following: "Employees may accrue up to a maximum of one hundred twenty (120) hours. Employees who are above the maximum accrual when the contract is implemented, will have the option of moving the excess hours to their compensatory time account or reducing it by using it prior to December 31, 2000. Also adding an additional section (b) as follows, "Employees who are approaching their caps will be given notice and will be required to schedule sufficient time off to reduce their accrual at a time as mutually convenient as possible to both the employee and the City, If the City is unable to allow time off by the end of the calendar year, the time above the maximum allowable accrual will be paid.(28)
The Association made no proposal on this matter, preferring to sustain the status quo.(29)
5. Health and Accident Insurance ( Article 23)
The City proposes changing the Article 23 as follows: (b). "For the first and second year of this agreement the City will pay the full premium for all employees and their dependents, except as noted below for part-time employees. Effective July 1, 2001 and for the remainder of this agreement, the City will pay the full single-rate premium for all employees( except as noted below for part-time employees) on all health plans. Those employees who elect to cover dependents will pay 5% of the difference between Single coverage and Two Party or Family coverage. All regular employees covering dependents are required to pay the payroll deductions, including employees married to other City employees where each is covered under the other's health plan." (c) Employees who work a schedule assignment of fewer than 40 hours per week are required to pay for a portion of their health and accident insurance prorated to their work schedule. In such circumstances the employee shall have the option of electing employee only medical, dental and vision coverage through the City Health Plan at no cost," (D) Employees covered by this agreement may select health and accident insurance under a qualified health maintenance organization (HMO). Entry to HMO's and the City insurance plans are subject to the administrative rules of the insurance company or the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Oregon."(30)
The Association proposes the maintenance of fully paid health insurance at current benefit levels and proposes the following language for section (b) of the Article: "The City will provide fully paid coverage at the current benefit levels for the first year of this agreement. If the insurance premium costs to the City exceed a 15% increase in the second or third year of this agreement, the City may reopen on Article 23, and the Association will have the ability to reopen on Appendix C Premium Pay.(31)
6. Termination ( Article 43)
The City proposes changing section (b) to July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2002. It also proposes changing section (d) by moving the renewal date to June 30, 2002.(32)
The Association proposes the same conditions of termination.
Both reflect a three year agreement. There appears to be no issue here.
7. Appendix A & B. Salary Schedule
The City proposes reflection of the salary schedule as outlined in Article 16 in Appendix A and deletion of Appendix B.(33)
The Association made no proposals for these clauses. There appears to be no issue here except as it relates to the wages issue.
8. Memorandum of Understanding regarding Part Time Employees.
The City proposes an extension of this MOU of 12/23/97.(34)
The Association proposed no extension of this MOU(35)
POSITIONS (arguments) OF THE PARTIES ON THE ISSUES
1. Temporary Employment. (Article 1. Recognition)
1. The City has established a past practice of using temporary employees in EPEA positions and it has been unchallenged until 1999 when the Association filed a demand to bargain on the matter.(36)
2. The City proposal specifically limits the use of temporary employees to temporary, occasional or seasonal basis for no more than 1039 hours per year, to no more than half time over a year, cannot perform sworn police dudes and prohibits their use as substitutes for regular employees on an ongoing basis.(37)
3. The proposal gives the Association notice of intent to use temporary employees and agrees to meet and discuss any concerns the Association may have.(38)
4. The proposal "...guarantees that the use of temporary employees will not result in the loss of any regular EPEA position.(39)
5. Similar language regarding temporary employees is common among comparable cities but none provide the restrictions provided in this proposal.(40)
6. It is not in the public interest to require the City to bargain each time it needs to use a temporary employee.
7. The history of the City's use of temporary employees is decreasing.(41)
8. To require that all department work be done only with bargaining unit members would result in either the work not getting done or requiring additional cost for overtime work.(42)
1. The City's proposal is inappropriate for arbitration. Temporary employees are not represented by the Association and thus beyond the scope of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.(43)
2. The proposal will result in temporary workers performing aspects of patrol officers and other duties while not being in the bargaining unit.(44)
3. The proposal changes and thereby limits the opportunity of the Association to bargain regarding expanded use of temporary employees to "meet and discuss" such matters.(45)
4. The City, with this proposal, is "...utilizing temporary employees to perform work traditionally performed by patrol officers; i.e., firearms instructor and other trainers, " and results in a "void of qualified regular employees to serve as trainers.(46)
5. An expanded use of TE ( temporary employees) threatens safety and security of the work force and the public., and they are not subjected to the screening requirements of regular employees.(47)
6. The city of Salem has no language concerning temporary employees.
2. Part Time Employees
1. Part time employees are part of the bargaining unit.(48)
2. Nothing in the contract restricts the City's use of part-time employees.
3. The City wants to continue the MOU of 12/23/97/ with the Association.(49)
4. Under the Association proposal the City will have to pay part-time employees full time benefits beyond a reasonable level and this would restrict the City's ability to use part-time employees.(50)
1. The extension of the MOU deletes the ability of the Association to preserve traditional bargaining unit work.(51)
2. The extension would give part-time employees full seniority rights and ability to bump permanent full time employees from vacation bids.(52)
3. When an employee is not regularly employed his/her skills rapidly diminish.(53)
3. Wages (Article 16)
1. The City is able to attract and retain qualified personnel at wage and benefit levels as proposed.(54)
2. The City's list of comparable jurisdictions (Beaverton, Gresham, Salem, Hillsboro, Medford and Springfield.) gives a fairer and more accurate picture of Eugene's market."(55)
3. The total compensation for EPEA employees is ahead of the listed jurisdictions.(56)
4. The Associations compensation comparisons are unreliable.(57)
5. The Association proposal would guarantee raises in excess of CPI and is thus not warranted by the economy or market.(58)
6. "EPEA ... has historically gotten larger wage increases, than other City employees, and..their wage increases have exceeded the CPI by l2% over the last 10 years."(59)
1. The secondary criteria supports the Association's offer(60)
2. The City did not claim inability to pay and other evidence indicates an ability to meet the increases.(61)
3. The City has not been able to attract and retain qualified employees in communications.(62)
4. The City has not filled its hiring quota in the past several years.(63)
5. Eugene's top step base wage is 9% less than Salem and other levels at 5% less.(64)
6. The City's exhibits regarding total compensation are flawed because it has selected cities that are not comparable to Eugene and has used figures which do not fully represent Eugene's work force or of supposedly comparable communities.(65)
7. The total compensation of the City of Eugene is behind the average of its comparators.(66)
8. The CPI is not relevant in determining the best offer.(67)
4. Health Insurance Cost Sharing
1. The ability for employers too provide fully paid health insurance has passed and it is time for employees to share in the cost of these benefits.(68)
2. The City's exempt employees ( including some EPEA members) have, since 1997 contributed 15% of the additional cost of any dependent care they elect.(69) The goal of the city is to gain a similar model for its represented employees. This proposal mirrors that model except that EPEA employees are asked to pay 10% less than the 15% paid by the exempt group.(70)
3. Since 1998 the costs for all City employees for health insurance have risen dramatically.(71) This caused the City to make one of its goals employee cost sharing.(72)
4. The AFSCME contract to 2001 contained a.5% reduction from the wage proposal to provide fully paid health insurance benefits.(73)
5. This proposal mirrors national trends that indicate 80% of all employers require employee contribution to family coverage averaging around 58% of the premium cost.(74)
6. The proposal means $15 per month per police officer for full family coverage.(75)
7. Employee only coverage would not subsidize coverage for families of other employees.(76)
8. Compared with Salem, Eugene pays $24.37 per month less in total premium with no employee contribution.(77)
9. Of the six comparable jurisdictions identified by the City three have health insurance cost sharing and one has deferred wages to contribute to insurance cost. Thus the Eugene proposal is well within the market.(78)
10. The City proposal minimizes the risk of increased co-pays by employees.(79)
1. The City has the ability to provide fully paid insurance.(80)
2. "Salem provides fully paid health, vision, and dental care at better benefit levels than the City of Eugene."(81)
3. "EPEA has voluntarily accepted lower benefit levels to maintain fully paid insurance."(82)
4. The City proposal discriminates against the working family, separates the bargaining unity on the basis of family status and does not compare with comparable communities.(83)
5. The proposal of the City unfairly impacts employee families where both persons work for the City.(84)
6. The proposal encourages employees to consider dropping dependent coverage.(85)
7. "... Part time employees with dependents end up paying a greater portion of their health care expenses than the full-time employees, thus creating an incentive for single part-time employees but a barrier for part-time employees with families.(86)
5. Article 17 and 18, Shift Holiday Benefit
1. The shift holiday benefit is not a part of wages but is a leave benefit.(87)
2. This proposal is not a reduction in shift holiday benefit.(88)
3. The proposal does "...put an end to the use of this provision as a means to take holiday time off and receive an automatic payout each month of personal leave intended to be time off in lieu of taking the holiday."(89)
4. Article 18 was not intended as a cash benefit.(90)
5. The City seeks to stop "a nearly -immediate monthly cash out of personal leave in lieu of holiday , and require employees to use the benefit as it was intended as paid, personal time off."(91)
6. The current contract language is not found in any of the compared jurisdictions.(92)
7. Compared to Salem the maximum accrual is 40 while here the level is 120 hours.(93)
8. The City "has been trying to change this practice through negotiations for at least 10 years the time for requiring that change through arbitration has come.(94)
7. The proposal "...does not take away the shift holiday benefit from non-shift employees." And "..also provides benefits and flexibility not available in any other jurisdictions in the market."(95)
8. The proposal "..provides the same time off benefit to all bargaining unit employees as they currently enjoy, but allows the City to "pay" that benefit in time off as it was intended, rather than in cash."(96)
9. The $319,404 paid for holiday leave pay(97) shows that people are taking cash instead of time and this makes it an unfunded liability for the City.(98)
10 Some of the $319,405 currently spent to pay EPEA employees for this leave benefit would be made available for other public needs.."(99)
11. "The City's proposal only requires that employees take this leave benefit as time off when possible, and as cash when it is not. "...Employees will lose nothing in the end.(100)
1. The City's proposal would result in a financial loss to members of the bargaining unit of five (5) percent.(101)
2. The proposal would "... allow the City to force the employee to utilize the time off rather than receive pay for the time."(102)
3. The City is unable to show that the current practice is inconsistent with the contract or that it creates a financial burden on the City.(103)
As of now, according to the parties, temporary employees are not a part of the bargaining unit. Even so, the City has been using them in EPEA positions without Association objection until the current contract. This proposal of the City changes the nature of the bargaining unit by including temporary employees and consequently setting forth conditions under which the temporary employees are to be used. The Association is clearly in opposition to this move.
Does the proposal provide for the interest and welfare of the public? This arbitrator can see only that it could very well increase the use of temporaries for current bargaining unit employees and probably reduce the cost of some services. This reduction, however, is hardly significant in the total financial status of the city and its budget, if at all. There is no question about financial ability of the city to pay.
There was insufficient evidence to show that the proposal, if adopted, would attract and retain qualified personnel. It could result in reducing the paid time available for full time employees.
The current contract in Salem does not provide comparable conditions as proposed by the City. The recognition clause in the Salem contract clearly states that temporary employees are excluded from representation and whenever new classifications are established by the City and when there is disagreement by the Association the matter must be negotiated.(104)
The Association proposal most closely meets the criteria. .
Part Time Employees
This issue hinges on a Memorandum of Understanding established in December of 1997. In that memorandum the parties noted that part time employees were part of the bargaining unit; defined a part time employee as any employee who works less than a full time (40 hour) 7 day work week; pro-ration of all leave accrual; provided for two options for health insurance; salary based insurance premiums and union dues; seniority accruals based on continuous time employed, etc.. and salary based on regularly scheduled hours of work; additional hours beyond the FLSA 40 hours per week (7 days) at 1:1.5 the regular rate. "(105)
This understanding ended on 31 December 1998, The City now wishes to reinstall the agreement with no termination date(106) and the Association opposes this action. A close examination of the proposals of both parties and the consequences indicates that neither negatively affects the public welfare. However. The City proposal does not appear to compare with the current contract in Salem. It is not clear how either proposal would impact the ability of the City to effect the overall compensation of the full time employees or to attract qualified personnel.
The Association proposal most closely meets the criteria.
The two wage proposals are quite close. The main difference being the immediate change in the base wage. (City @ 3 % and Association @ 3.5 %)
Each party has accused the other of submitting faulty data in support of its contrary position. The City, for example, spent nearly six (6) pages (or 11.5 % in its final Brief claiming errors in Association Exhibits.(107) The Association, likewise, spent two pages (7.6%) in its final Brief claiming errors in the City Exhibits.(108) The parties apparently did not compare their exhibits prior to the hearing nor provide factual information thereby that both parties acknowledged and accepted. The exhibits were submitted by the parties to the Arbitrator in large notebooks that apparently had not been examined or accepted by the other party. The Arbitrator was at a serious disadvantage in trying to determine what the actual facts in the situation are.
Neither party clearly documented the bulk of its citations in its Briefs and Exhibits as to date of collection, source, and credibility so that it was next to impossible for the Arbitrator to trace them down to their origins to test the data that was challenged. In terms of comparable data, for example, it was not clear as to the year and contract of comparable entities that were being used to compare with Eugene. It is unclear, for example, as to whether data relating to the Salem salaries and benefits were from the current contract or from the previous contract. To make accurate comparisons we would have to have current data on each comparable entity.(109)
As an example of the confusion reigning hereby note the two Exhibits: Association 18, pg. 3. and City Exhibit C 42. These two documents are the closest the arbitrator could find that could indicate similar coverage of the data. The city cited figures relating to total monthly compensation for Eugene Police Officer with 15 years of experience at 5932. The Association's exhibit shows total monthly income at 5027. The differences could be hidden in the scope of the items that were counted to make up "total income" for the Association and "total compensation" for the City. There is, as you can quickly see, a difference of from 13% to 15% between the two citations. The Association shows the lower figure fits in with its position in regard to wages. The City's figure fits in with its position in regard to wages. The Arbitrator is at loss to determine which set of data is the actual data.
Looking at comparative data in the same set of documents in relation to the City of Salem: the Association exhibit shows that the Salem total income for Police Officers with 15 years of service is 5069.91. The City exhibit showing "total compensation" lists Salem at 5763. Again these differences are significant and they suggest a different purpose than the previous set. These data defy making clear and concise comparison between the two cities in terms of wages.
So, where is our guidance in terms of which of the offers is in the best interest of the public and other criteria? The data of the parties certainly is not an adequate guide. I shall turn, then, to the percentage increases for the first year to inform us as to the direction we should take.
The City shows that a Police Officer Maximum Base Salary on 6/30/99 was 4035 for Salem and 3750 for Eugene.(110) Using these as the basis of our comparison we find that 3% of the Salem figure is 121.05 and by adding that to the 4035 the total is 4156. The Salem increase in its new contract was 3% effective on 7/l/99(111)
A 3% increase on Eugene's "Maximum Basic Salary" of 6/30/99 yields 3862, some 294 behind Salem, A 3,5% increase yields 3881, or 275 lower than Salem. The 3881 figure is closer to the Salem figure than the 3862 by a tiny amount of 19. On the basis of these calculations Eugene would be closer to its comparative city with the 3.5% increase. The small difference between the City and The EPEA does not jeopardize the ability of the City to pay nor throw its budget out of line.
The other aspects of the wage proposal are the same for both parties.
The Association proposal most closely meets the criteria.
Health Insurance Cost Sharing
The public welfare is clearly at stake in the arena of health insurance. Healthy individuals are important in any community and particularly in the entities that serve the public directly, like the Police. It is in the interest of the public that employees are covered with health insurance. Most employment agencies meet this requirement, as does the City of Eugene. Thus the public interest and welfare are being covered. However, the costs of that insurance are making the public interest more difficult to sustain and, at the same time cause public entities to seek newer ways to cover those costs.
Currently, in the face of huge increases in the cost of such insurance nationwide there is a growing pressure upon cities who have fully paid in the past to reach out for employee contributions to help control these increasing drains on city resources. In the face of these rising costs Eugene is paying for full coverage for EPEA members but at less than Salem, the comparable city. The EPEA claims that it has voluntarily accepted lower total benefit levels in order to maintain fully paid insurance.(112) Eugene's exempt employees, however, make a contribution to the health plan beginning in July of 1997. However, according to the parties, none of the organized employees are making such a contribution as of the time of this negotiation.(113) The City proposal delays the implementation of the cost sharing for two years of the contract, giving it time to negotiate similar conditions in its contracts with AFSCME and the Firefighters.(114)
The equity of the situation in relation to employees with families is constantly challenged. Thus, it is argued, employees with families pay extra for coverage whereby non family employees get the same coverage at less and this discriminates against the employee with a family. Even so, this argument does not necessarily dispose of the matter.
Actually the addition of family members to contracts for health services increases the costs up and down the line as well as the scope of services available. That is, with the non family employee only the employee may make claims. The employee with a family may increase the number and extent of the claims available beyond that of the non family employee. Thus increasing the services available. The move of employers to make those employees with families carry some of that increased cost of those increased services is growing significantly.
The City, in the instant matter is clearly attempting to use this contract to open the gate for negotiations with its other organized groups to bring them into line with the exempt employees. This is a basic strategy in all labor-management negotiations. In the event that Eugene was paying costs on a par with its comparable city, Salem, this strategy would seem practical. However, in the instant situation it would appear that Eugene is paying less that Salem and to reduce the relative costs of the City would simply aggravate the differences.
Here, then, the real issue is whether the added services provided to the employee with family is fair to the employee without family when there is no cost differential.
The Association's position to avoid such added costs to its family members is reasonable in terms of cost alone but it fails to examine the increase of available services to the family employee.
The City proposal most closely meets the criteria.
Shift Holiday Benefit (Articles 17 and 18)
This situation represents an instance where the terms of the agreement have allegedly been used to alter the intent of the City in the agreement. The City's argument that Articles 17 and18 were not intended as a cash benefit is persuasive. The argument of the Association that the City proposal would result in a financial loss to the members is problematical. Time off work, in most contracts, is just that ... an agreement to allow the employees to be away from work and still be paid for that time. When that time is not used, the intent of the arrangement is circumvented. Holidays, overtime, earned leave, and the like are conditions that have emerged in the work place over the years of intense bargaining. They are truly benefits rising from the relationship between the employer and the employee.
Benefits, in the working relationship, come in at least two forms: money and time. Both have value. Once agreed as to the basic benefits stemming from extra or special service the parties must then determine how those benefits are to be provided. When the intent of the agreement is to provide for time off it is incumbent on the parties to schedule that time. Time off is a benefit and has a value beyond the wage of the time if worked. On the other hand, when the time off cannot be scheduled because of the nature of the work situation it is reasonable and just for that time to be paid for in cash. That is apparently what the expired contract was intended to accomplish.
The Association argues that actual income would be jeopardized by requiring the employees to use the benefits as time when possible. The Association, however, did not provide a balance sheet to show the value of the time benefits in contrast to the cash benefits. The City claims that its proposal "...provides the same time off benefits to all bargaining unit employees as they currently enjoy, but allows the City to "pay" that benefit in time off as it was intended."(115)
The City claims, also, that " The impact on the employee is small. They will be paid for holiday leave in time off, if time off is possible, at times mutually convenient, or they will be paid in cash annually if time off is not possible. They will lose nothing in the end.(116) This argument suggests to the arbitrator that the annual total of benefits in these categories is the same whether they are paid as cash or in actual time off. However from the view of the Association it would appear that it does not equate the value of a day off with the value of payment for the same period of time. That is the Association, from its position views 8 hours pay at time or time and half as being more valuable than having the time off for other pursuits. This, however, strikes directly at the nature of the collective bargaining contract. If, as the Association argues, the City position will deprive employees of substantial monthly additions in pay then that should be negotiated as part of the salary rather than a benefit related to something other than basic salary.
The City proposal most closely meets the criteria.
This review shows the fundamental inadequacy of the "last best offer" restrictions particularly when there are several issues at stake. Neither party had a clean sweep of all the issues. The Association has the advantage on Temporary Employees, Part Time and Wages. The wage proposals, however are very close together. The City has the advantage on Family Health coverage and the Shift Holiday issues. All other matters are not substantial issues in fact.
Oregon law requires the arbitrator to choose one of the last best offers using his general judgment in relation to the criteria set forth by the Legislature. While relative weight value of the issues to the parties might be useful, there is no way they can be discovered and implemented under the present rules. The resolution, therefore, might resonably come from who has the majority of the advantages.
.There is no way other than the general judgment of the Arbitrator in relation to the criteria set forth by the legislature of Oregon. Relative weight-value of the issues to the parties might be useful but there is no way they can be discovered and implemented under the present rules.
The Public Interest
Both parties claim their proposals are in the public interest. It is in the public interest that the City of Eugene have a good police force at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer. It is in the pubic interest that the employees of that police force be capable people highly able to protect the interests of the public through the special functions of the agency. To get these kind of employees there is a cost that has relevance to the level of quality the City (and therefore the public) demands. Both of the proposals meet these conditions.
Reasonable Financial Ability Of the Government Unit.
City did not submit any argument that it was unable to pay the costs involved in the Association's proposals. The largest cost item was the wage increase and the difference between the two proposals was small. The City budgetary reports provided by the Association indicate that the expected increase in the current City budget for 2000 over 1999 approximated 5.73%.(117) That figure for the City indicates that the increase for the Police Department is not excessive.
Ability of the Unit of Government to Attract and Retain Qualified Personnel.
Comparison of the Eugene police and department personnel do not indicate any deficit in quality and service time for the unit. Problems in prior years appear to have been resolved.
Neither proposal seems excessively out of line if compared to the comparable city of Salem.
Comparison with Comparable Communities.
As concluded above, the only "comparable community" as determined by the law and the that Eugene salaries are slightly below Salem thus supporting the proposed 3.5% increase for Eugene.
The CPI All Cities Index
Both proposals use this index as the basis of increases during the last two years of the contract.
Neither party prevailed on all of the issues actually in dispute on the basis of the criteria required by law. Each had positions which more successfully met the criteria than the other party and each had positions which were less successful in meeting the criteria than the other party. In balancing all of these the Association proposal more frequently prevailed on the issues on the basis of the statutory criteria.
On the basis of the above considerations the Last Best Offer of the Association most predominantly meets the statutory criteria to be applied by the interest Arbitrator.
AWARD and ORDER
The last best offer of the Eugene Police Officers Association shall become the new contract between the parties.
John (Sam) Keltner, Arbitrator
1. The Association posted a modified LBO on 19 November 1999.
2. Exhibit C1
3. City Brief, p.1
4. Association's Arbitration memorandum, p. 1.
5. Testimony of Helen Towle, Human Resources Manager for the Department
6. Employment Relations Board Statutes and Rules, February 1998.
7. Employment Relations Board 115-40-015(7)(g).
8. Employment Relations Board 115-40-015(7)(t)
9. Employment Relations Board 115-40-015(8)
10. Employment Relations Board 115-40-015(10)
11. Black's Law Dictionary, Revised Fourth Edition, 1968 West Publishing Co.P. 1393
12. Ibid., p. 1396
13. Elkouri & Elkouri HOW ARBITRATION WORKS. Fifth Edition. 1999 Supplement. P. 223, citation from City of Willowick, 11 LA 1146 (Ruben, 1997)
14. Association Arbitration Memorandum, p. 8
15. City Brief, p. 16.
16. Association's Arbitration Memorandum, p. 9 and City Exhibit C10.
17. See Exhibit C-29 of the City which compares Washington County, Clackamas County, and Southern Oregon
18. (a) adds "regular" to all employees and idcn6fies the following classifications: Records Specialist A/B, Communication Specialist A/B/C. Communication Service Officer A/B/C, Police Clerk, Senior Police Clerk, Police Property Clerk, Police Officer, Police Agent, Forensic Technician, Forensic Analyst. (This list takes the place of the prior list in the Appendix in the current contract and leaves out Darkroom Specialist 1295, Evidence Tech 1320, and Communication Research Officer 1284) 'Me proposal adds the following paragraph on temporary employees: "Temporary employees are not covered by this contract. Temporary employees are those who work on a temporary, seasonal, occasional, or on-call basis for no more than 1039 hours in a calendar year. It is not the intent of this Agreement to allow for a position to be filled by a temporary employee on a regular, on- going basis, or near, half-time from year to year. Temporary employees will not be assigned to work in a sworn capacity or to perform any duties requiring sworn status. The City will give the Association notice of any temporary employee hired and what work s/he will be performing. The City agrees to meet with the Association and discuss any concerns regarding the use of temporary employees. The use of temporary employees will not result in the loss of any regular EPEA positions.
19. See City LBO Article 16 for the specific language changes for these rates.
20. The City proposal provides changes in Article 17 (e) as follows: "Employees may accrue up to eighty (80) hours of compensatory time. Compensatory time in excess of eighty (80) hours shall be paid off automatically at the end of the pay period in which it is earned, unless supervisory approval to exceed that amount is granted, Employees who are above the maximum accrual when this agreement is implemented will be allowed to retain that time but will receive all overtime inn pay until they drip below the maximum accrual ...."
21. Changes Article 18 to read as follows; "(a) Employees will accrue fourteen(14) days per year ( Or 9.33 hours per month) for personal time off in lieu of holidays. Employees may accrue up to a maximum of one hundred twenty (120) hours. Employees who are above the maximum accrual when the contract is implemented, will have the option of moving the excess hours to their compensatory time account or reducing it by using it prior to December 31, 2000. Time off in lieu of holidays taken by an employee will be deducted hour for hour. Employees upon termination are entitled to a pro-rated holiday accrual for any portion of the last month served.
(B) Employees who are approaching their caps will be given notice and will be required to schedule sufficient time off to reduce their accrual at a time as mutually convenient as possible to both the employee and the City. if the City is unable to allow time off by the end of the calendar year the time above the maximum allowable accrual will be paid. "
22. City Last Best Offer, Article 1.(1) and (b)
23. Association Brief, p. 3.
24. City Brief, p. 39 and Association Brief. P. 4.
25. City Last Best Offer, Article 16.
26. City Brief, p. 8 and Association Last Best Offer, p.1
27. City LBO Art. 17(e.)
28. City LBO, Art. 18(a) and (b).
29. Association Brief, p. 19.
30. City LBO Art. 23(b)(c) and (d)
31. Association Brief, p. 22
32. City LBO, Article 43, (b) and (d)
33. City LBO. Appendix A & B.
34. City LBO
35. Association Brief, p. 10.
36. City Brief, p. 39.
37. City Brief, p.40
38. City Brief, p. 40, 44
39. City Brief, p. 40
40. City Brief, p. 41.
41. City Brief, p. 42.
42. City Brief, p. 47
43. Association Brief. p. 4
44. Association Brief. P. 4-5
45. Association Brief p. 5
46. Association Brief, p. 8
47. Association Brief, p. 9
48. City Brief, p. 47
49. City Brief, p. 48
50. City Brief, p. 48 & 49
51. Association Brief, p. 10
52. Association Brief, p. 10
53. Association Brief, p. 11.
54. Association Brief, p. 11.
55. City Brief, p. 16
56. City Brief, p. 17
57. City Brief P. 17-21
58. City Brief p. 22
59. City Brief p. 23
60. Association Brief p. 12
61. Association Brief p.12
62. Association Brief, p. 14
63. Association Brief, p. 14
64. Association Brief, p. 15
65. Association Brief, p. 18
66. Association Brief, p. 18
67. Association Brief, p. 18
68. City Brief, p. 24
69. Exhibit C25.
70. City Brief, p. 25
71. Exhibit C27
72. City Brief, p. 25
73. City Brief, p. 25.
74. City Brief, p. 26
75. City Brief, p. 27
76. City Brief, p. 27
77. City Brief. P. 28
78. City Brief, P. 29
79. City Brief, P. 30
80. Association Brief, P. 24
81. Association Brief, P. 24, Exhibits A22 and 23.
82. Association Brief, P. 24
83. Association Brief, P. 25, Association's Arbitration Memorandum, P. 17
84. Association Arbitration Memorandum, P. 18.
85. Association Arbitration Memorandum, P. 18.
86. Association Arbitration Memorandum. P. 18.
87. City Brief, P. 30
88. City Brief, P. 31
89. City Brief, P. 32.
90. City Brief, P. 32
91. City Brief, P. 33
92. City Brief, P. 34
93. City Brief, p. 34.
94. City Brief. P. 35
95. City Brief, P. 35
96. City Brief, P. 36
97. Exhibit C5
98. Testimony of Helen Towle
99. City Brief, P. 36
100. City Brief. P. 38
101. Association Brief, p. 20-21 Association Arbitration Memorandum p. 16.
102. Association Arbitration Memorandum, p. 16.
103. Association Brief, P. 20
104. Exhibit A9 p. 1, Article 2 A ad B
105. Memorandum of Understanding December 1997.
106. City Final Offer,
107. City Brief p, 17-22
108. Association Brief, p. 17-18.
109. This matter may have arisen from the fact that each party presented at the hearing one or two large notebooks of exhibits that were not reviewed by both parties at the hearing where matters of accuracy could have been challenged and cleared.
110. City Exhibit C40
111. Association Exhibit A9 p.26
112. Association Brief, p. 24
113. City Brief, p. 26
114. City Brief, p, 26
115. City Brief, p.36
116. City Brief, p. 38
117. City of Eugene Proposed Budget Summary, Fiscal Year 2000, Association Brief. A13, p. 22.