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IA-18-99
In the Matter of the Interest Arbitration between the Oregon State Police Officers Association ("Association"), and The State of Oregon Department of State Police ("Department" or "OSP"). IA-18-99.
This is a statutory interest arbitration proceeding under the Oregon Public Employes Collective Bargaining Act, ORS 243.650 et. sec. The bargaining unit consists of about 148 FTE non-sworn employees, and a bit less than 600 sworn employees, of the Department of State Police.(1) The hearing was orderly. Both parties had the opportunity to present evidence, to call and cross examine witnesses, and to argue the case. Both parties filed timely post-hearing briefs.
The parties have reached agreement on the majority of their new, 1999-2001 contract; and the present case addresses their dispute primarily over education/certification incentives-which is far the most costly issue-and over several selective wage rate incentives.
PRELIMINARY ISSUES
At hearing each party claimed that the other's last best offer included at least one proposal that was "retrograde bargaining" as compared with prior proposals. Each party announced its intent to present that issue in an Unfair Labor Practice complaint before the Employment Relations Board ("ERB") if the other party's proposal was awarded in this proceeding. Moreover, the Association, at least, argued that, for that same reason, I could not legally award the State's package. Given that posture of the parties, the Department proposed to postpone the interest arbitration hearing until the ERB had had an opportunity to address the anticipated ULP issues. The Association argued that there would be no ULP issues to address until one or the other party reacted to the award.
The parties did not disagree with my understanding that ERB has a general, overall (case law developed) policy for ULP disputes involving course of bargaining and mandatory/permissive issues which are presented to interest arbitrators. They also did not disagree that ERB's policy is for the arbitrator to proceed with whatever issues either of the parties bring to interest arbitration, leaving all such bargaining disputes for ERB's subsequent resolution through the ULP process. The case at hand is only slightly unusual in that each party proposes to use that ULP process should it not prevail in interest arbitration, and I therefore declined to delay the scheduled interest arbitration hearing.
FACTORS
The statutory list of factors to be considered in interest arbitration was changed substantially under SB-750. Much of the body of accumulated interest arbitration decision and case law arose under the prior version of ORS 243.742. Although the current version of the interest arbitration statute has been in place for some years now, it is useful in this case to begin by comparing it with its predecessor.(2) (The current statute appears in proper order, and the pre SB-750 version is rearranged to make the equivalent provision appear beside the current language. (Herein "Current Language" follows Pre-SB 750 language)
Pre SB-750: (4) Where there is no agreement between the parties...and wage rates or other conditions of employment under the proposed new or amended agreement are in dispute, the arbitration panel shall base its findings, opinions and order on the following factors, as applicable:
Current Language : (4) Where there is no agreement between the parties...{unresolved mandatory subjects submitted to the arbitrator in the parties' last best offer packages shall be decided by the arbitrator. Arbitrators shall base their findings and opinions on these criteria giving first priority to paragraph (a) of this subsection and secondary priority to subsections (b) to (h) of this subsection as follows:}
Pre SB-750: (a) The lawful authority of the employer.
Current Language: [There is no express equivalent in the current language of the statute.]
Pre SB-750: (b) Stipulations of the parties.
Current Language: [This element in now designated "(g)."]
Pre SB-750: (c) The interest and welfare of the public !and the financial ability of the unit of government to meet those costs.! [The italicized language was expanded into subsection (b).] (a) The interest and welfare of the public.
Current Language: {(b) The reasonable financial ability of the unit of government to meet the costs of the proposed contract giving due consideration and weight 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.}
Pre SB-750: [There was no express equivalent in the prior language of the statute.]
Current Language: (c) {The ability of the unit of government to attract and retain qualified personnel at the wage and benefit levels provided.}
Pre SB-750: (f) The overall compensation presently received by the employes, including direct wage compensation, vacations, holidays and other excused time, insurance and pensions, medical and hospitalization benefits, the continuity and stability of employment, and all other benefits received.
Current Language: (d) The overall compensation presently received by the employes, including direct wage compensation, vacations, holidays and other excused time, insurance and pensions, medical and hospitalization benefits, the continuity and stability of employment, and all other benefits received.
Pre SB-750: (d) Comparison of the wages, hours and conditions of employment of other employes performing similar services and with other employes generally: (A) In public employment in comparable communities. (B) In private employment in comparable communities.
Current Language: (e) Comparison of the {overall compensation} of other employees performing similar services *and with other employes generally* {with the same or other employees in comparable communities. As used in this paragraph, "comparable" is limited to communities of the same or nearest population range within Oregon. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, the following additional definitions of "comparable" apply in the situations described as follows: (A) For any city with a population of more than 325,000, "comparable" includes comparison to out-of-state cities of the same or similar size; (B) For counties with a population of more than 400,000, "comparable" includes comparison to out-of-state counties of the same or similar size; and (C) For the State of Oregon, "comparable" includes comparison to other states.}
Pre SB-750: (g) Changes in any of the foregoing circumstances during the pendency of the arbitration proceedings.
Current Language: [There is no equivalent provision in the current language of the statute.]
Pre SB-750: (e) The average consumer prices for goods and services commonly known as the cost of living.
Current Language: (f) {The CPI-All Cities Index,} commonly known as the cost of living.
Pre SB-750: [This factor was numbered "(b)" in the prior version of the statute.]
Current Language: (g) Stipulations of the parties.
Pre SB-750: (h) Such other factors, not confined to the foregoing, which are normally or traditionally taken into consideration in the determination of wages, hours and conditions of employment through voluntary collective bargaining, mediation, factfinding, arbitration or otherwise between the parties, in the public service or in private service.
Current Language: (h) Such other factors, *not confined to the foregoing, which* {consistent with sections (a) to (g) of this subsection as} are normally or traditionally taken into consideration in the determination of wages, hours and conditions of employment. *through voluntary collective bargaining, mediation, factfinding, arbitration or otherwise between the parties, in the public service or in private service.* {However, the arbitrator shall not use such other factors, if in the judgment of the arbitrator, the factors in paragraphs (a) to (g) of this subsection provide sufficient evidence for an award.}
The single most substantial change wrought by SB-750, of course, is that the Legislature ended the interest arbitrator's responsibility for crafting the best possible solution-within his or her ability-to each of the several issues in the case and replaced it with a simple duty to choose one package or the other on the basis of the listed factors.
The "package" approach to interest disputes inherently means that more expensive proposals will usually be the "dog" in these cases, and low cost or cost-free issues will more often be the "tail." This unavoidable tendency is also reinforced by the fact that all of the major, specifically listed "secondary" issues are monetary. It is possible to dream up hypothetical situations to the contrary, in which, for example, a cost-free language proposal could be so clearly repugnant to the welfare and interest of the public that an arbitrator would feel obliged to reject that package regardless of the merits of the economic dispute. But this is not such a case, and there are so very many fundamental issues presented here that I will not further expand this written discussion by examining each of the less-expensive portions of the "package" dispute in the same detail that is appropriate for the major-i.e. most expensive-divisions between the two packages.
The change from issue-by-issue to package-based interest arbitration sets a pattern for the other changes which produced the current language of the section: The overall theme is the Legislature's apparent determination to simplify-or restrict-the factors and issues in these cases. That theme also appears in the specification of a single federal consumer price index for the prior general reference to "the average consumer prices for goods and services;" in the general "limitation" of salary comparators to "communities of the same or nearest population range within Oregon;" and in the specific directive on dealing with contingency funds. But the most sweeping statement of the theme appears at the end of subsection (h), which controls the arbitrator's consideration of "other factors." In the prior version of the statute the "other factors" provision was straightforward enabling language. Its general thrust was to allow the interest arbitration process to be a continuation and replication of collective bargaining: whatever sorts of arguments and evidence were traditionally a part of the collective bargaining process for determining wages, etc., those arguments and evidence were proper factors for the consideration of an interest arbitrator.
Although the current "other factors" provision begins much as its predecessor did, the final sentence transposes the subsection from language of enablement to language of restriction:
[T]he arbitrator shall not use such other factors, if in the judgment of the arbitrator, the factors in paragraphs (a) to (g) of this subsection provide sufficient evidence for an award.
I can find no justification in the overall statutory scheme for not applying this very narrow restriction just as it stands. It is true that the statute leaves the threshold determination to "the judgment of the arbitrator;" and a reviewing court might well find in that expression a directive to accord the arbitrator substantial discretion. But it seems to me that the nature of the threshold determination does not much admit of greater or lesser discretion.
What does the statute mean by "...if...the factors in paragraphs (a) to (g) of this subsection provide sufficient evidence for an award"? The statutory language is not quite crystal clear. The required threshold determination might conceivably be that the case could not be decided as well without consideration of the "other" factor; or it might mean that the required determination is that the case could not be decided at all without consideration of the proposed "other" factor. The choice between "not as well" and "not at all" makes a vast difference in the impact of the required threshold determination. The problem with the "not as well" alternative is that it renders the threshold determination pretty much equivalent to requiring that the proposed "other factor" in question be relevant and material to the inquiry. I appreciate the hazard of confusing characteristics of evidence with characteristics of the "factors" which an interest arbitrator is to consider. Nonetheless, if the statute is interpreted to allow an arbitrator to consider whatever factors he or she might think would lead to a fuller record or a better decision, then it is hard to see what substance is left of the explicit threshold requirement added by the legislature in Senate Bill 750.
One might be driven to the "not as well" interpretation if the "not at all" alternative made the provision meaningless or inherently inapplicable. But the "secondary" factors all apply to costs or to costable benefits; and none of them apply to "pure" contract language disputes which have no apparent cost or costable benefit. For pure language disputes, then, the listed "secondary" factors are inapplicable and an arbitrator could reasonably conclude that consideration of only those factors is inadequate to justify an award "at all."(3)
In summary, then, considering the overall restrictive orientation of the current version of the statute-and, particularly, considering it in comparison with its predecessor-it is not reasonable to conclude that the Legislature had so paltry a threshold restriction in mind as an arbitrator's determination that the decisional basis would be fuller and more robust if he or she considered factors in addition to those specifically listed by the Legislature. I must conclude that consideration of factors other than those explicitly listed in the statute is permissible only if the interest arbitrator determines that the issue before him or her cannot be decided at all without such consideration. In the case at hand, with respect to the economic and costable portions of the dispute, at least, I cannot conclude in good faith that the specifically listed factors do not provide sufficient evidence for an award, and I am therefore forbidden to consider any additional factors.
There remains one final puzzle in interpreting and applying the current language of subsection (h): Given that the "primary" factor is the "interest and welfare of the public," may an arbitrator analyze that primary factor in terms of considerations beyond the listed "secondary" factors? The overall answer, it seems to me, is that the Legislature clearly intended arbitrators to understand that they are generally to restrict their considerations to the factors specifically set out in the statute. Reading the statute in a fashion that allowed interest arbitrators to consider whatever factors and evidence they want as long as it is done under the guise of analyzing the welfare and interest of the public would create a hole in that rule the size of Alaska. I respectfully decline to adopt such an interpretation.
A striking result seems to follow inevitably from the determination to apply the current language of the statute as it appears on its face: In general, the interest arbitrator's award is no longer to be determined by all the factors traditionally considered in the determining wages, hours and conditions of employment "through voluntary collective bargaining, mediation, factfinding, arbitration or otherwise between the parties." It seems to me inescapable that the current statute does not allow my consideration of at least the following such alternative, "traditional" factors.
First, bargaining and contract history does not fall within any of the listed "secondary" factors. In the case at hand, for example, OSP argues that the parties' contract once included substantial incentive pay provisions, which the Association intentionally traded for longevity, and that the reintroduction of incentives would run counter to that trade.(4) Of course, there is nothing to suggest that the parties ever expressly agreed that the contract would never again include an education or certification incentive; but the State is certainly correct in offering this consideration as the sort of "course of dealing" or "bargaining history" evidence that interest arbitrators commonly pay at least some attention to in such disputes. But this is certainly an "other factor," and is therefore barred, in the case at hand, by the unscalable barrier of the threshold finding required in subsection (h).(5)
Second, recent settlement data does not fall within any of the listed "secondary" factors. It is common for one party or the other to support its bargaining position by pointing out that other employers and unions in the same industry and in the same region have settled for the proposed deal.(6) Of course, a pattern of increases may be relevant to comparability; but the traditional argument "there is a wave of 3% settlements, so this unit should accept/get 3%, too" is no longer a proper consideration in interest arbitration.(7)
Third (as discussed in some detail below, at page 16), the current language of the statute limits consideration of cost of living factors to a single Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI index; and an interest arbitrator may not go around that express limitation under the guise of an "other factor."
Finally, it seems to me that supervisory pay data does fit under the "secondary" statutory factors, first, as it affects the employer's ability to pay a proposed wage increase, and, second, as an "other priority " under Subsection (b).(8) On the other hand, it is an reasonable systemic assumption of collective bargaining that managers and supervisors will make more than bargaining unit members.(9) In order for supervisory pay data to be very interesting, therefore, the data ordinarily must show that supervisory pay rates are substantially disproportionate one way or the other. The record in this case would not support such a claim.(10)
Comparability:
(e) Comparison of the overall compensation of other employees performing similar services with the same or other employees in comparable communities. As used in this paragraph, "comparable" is limited to communities of the same or nearest population range within Oregon. Notwithstanding the provisions of this para-graph, the following additional definitions of "comparable" apply...[f]or the State of Oregon, "comparable" includes comparison to other states.
This is the factor that most often provides the driving force behind wage disputes, so it makes sense to begin the analysis here. The case at hand presents six preliminary issues of comparability which must be addressed before I can deal with the compensation numbers in the record.
First, by far the most costly provision at issue here is the Association's incentive proposal for 3% for an AA degree or Intermediate DPSST certificate and 6% for a BA degree or Advanced certificate. The Department proposes 2% for an AA or 4% for a BA, with no DPSST equivalency.
Virtually every other police employer in the State uses the DPSST training program for new recruits; but OSP trains its own. DPSST gives credit for 680 hours for OSP recruit school and gives credit for the Department's 20 hours per year of required patrol inservice training. Thus, without any formal college degree at all, OSP required recruit and inservice training will make an employee eligible for an intermediate certificate after five years of experience (with the addition of 38 education "points") and eligible for an advanced certificate after ten years (with 40 education "points"). The Department therefore characterizes the Association's proposal as a "thinly disguised" pay rate increase, and I will essentially treat it as such for purposes of comparability analysis. Of course, this treatment quite skips over the very substantial issue of the value of an AA or BA degree to a police officer (apart from potentially increasing his or her total compensation) and to the public. Insofar as the record before me addresses that issue, it shows without serious dispute that the welfare and interest of the public are well served by encouraging OSP officers to acquire formal college degrees; but it does not show that there is substantial value to the Department or to the interest and welfare of the public for Department employees to acquire DPSST Intermediate or Advanced certification.(11)
Second, the statute clearly and expressly requires a comparability analysis in terms of "the overall compensation" received by the employees being compared, rather than an analysis in terms of the costs to the employers.(12) "Overall compensation" is defined in the prior subsection; and the Legislature changed the language of the comparability provision to echo that term exactly, lest there be room for doubt. Suppose, for example, that an employer pays $10 per hour and is subject to a 20% payroll tax which does not inure to the benefit of the employees. Regardless of whether those employees were the ones at issue in an interest arbitration proceeding or were proposed as comparables, their "overall compensation" would be $10 per hour and not $12. In the real world, of course, it is unusual to find a cost to the employer which indisputably "does not inure to the benefit of the employees;" but not all employer costs automatically translate dollar for dollar as compensation received by the employees. (This case presents a classic example, because both parties propose to include in the primary comparables some states which are FICA participants and some states which are not.(13)) Both the current and the prior versions of the statute clearly require the comparison analysis to reflect "vacations, holidays and other excused time" as part of the "overall compensation" of the employees being compared. Moreover, on the face of the current statutory language the comparison is expressly required to be conducted in terms of overall compensation reflecting all such leave time.
Third, the statute requires comparison of the compensation "of other employees performing similar services," but of course it does not tell the arbitrator where OSP compensation should be in relation to such a comparison. At the "average?" Above it? At some particular rank? Both parties here propose the four contiguous states as "primary comparables;" but they disagree substantially on how OSP compensation should stand in comparison to that paid in the four contiguous states.
This issue has come up in every one of the parties' prior resorts to interest arbitration. In 1985 the State proposed the four contiguous states as comparables, and the Association proposed California, Washington and Portland. Arbitrator Timothy Williams (NAA) used the four contiguous states, but included comparison to Portland as an "other factor" under the then-current language of the statute. He also began a series of discussions of the issue of exactly where OSP compensation should fall in comparison with the appropriate other employees' compensation, and he concluded (at 83-84) that OSP "salaries and benefits...ought to be in all cases above the four state average (in other words, be closer to the salaries of California and Washington than to the salaries of Idaho and Nevada)." Professor Ross Runkel followed Arbitrator Williams' determination of comparables in the next interest arbitration award in this unit, in 1990; and Arbitrator Jack Calhoun continued that tradition in the next, 1993, case, noting (at 41)
It is important to the interest arbitration process to have an amount of constancy in the use of labor market comparables. Constancy enhances predictability, which in turn facilitates the relationship between the parties.
Finally, in 1996, under the current version of the statute, Arbitrator William Bethke again used the traditional four contiguous states as comparators. He departed from Arbitrator Williams' approach only in detail, using a "rank" approach-behind California and ahead of the other three-rather than Williams' "above the four state average."(14) (Given Arbitrator Williams' own explanation- which is set out immediately above-the difference is not very substantial.) However, he held (at 10-11) that the current Statute also required him to compare these employees with those performing similar services in "the largest population cities and counties" in Oregon.
Despite this history, OSP again proposes to compare trooper salaries to what it calls the "average" of the four contiguous states. Of course, the statute does not use the term "average;" and not a single one of the interest arbitrators who have dealt with this unit in prior years has been sold on the "average" of the four comparator states. The Association is certainly correct in arguing that nothing in this record suggests that there has been any change from 1985 when the State argued to Arbitrator Timothy Williams (NAA) that
the Oregon state police officer had to be better trained and more knowledgeable than any counterpart in any other state of local jurisdictions because the breadth of his/her responsibility was significantly greater than that of officers in other jurisdictions.
As far as this record shows, none of the comparable employees of other public employers have the breadth of training and responsibilities of an Oregon State Patrol Trooper or Senior Trooper. It is largely for that reason that every single interest arbitrator who has considered this issue in the past has found, in effect, that OSP compensation should be above the four state "average" and should fall just behind that of similar employees in California, and ahead of similar employees in the other three comparator states. Nothing in the record before me justifies a departure from that conclusion.(15)
The fourth preliminary issue is whether OSP pay should be compared with the rates of pay offered by the largest cities and counties for the same services Arbitrator Bethke held that the statute required such comparison.(16) Arbitrator Thomas Levak (NAA) reached that same conclusion earlier this year in International Association of Firefighters, Local 1660 v. State of Oregon, pointing out (at 8) that the current statutory language defined comparables to "include" other states, not to be "limited to" other states. Even if the current version of the statute allows an arbitrator to "limit" his or her consideration to other states, I submit that the State of California has correctly grasped the relation between recruitment and retention and this issue of comparability and has enshrined that grasp in this statutory language:
In order for the state to recruit and retain the highest qualified employees for the California Highway Patrol, it is the policy of the state to compensate state traffic officers the estimated average total compensation . . . [of equivalent employees] within the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles county Sheriff's Office, San Diego Police Department, Oakland Police Department and the San Francisco Police Department. * * *
This simply recognizes that large police employers are inherently the primary competitors for the limited human resource of skilled police officers. Considering the role that recruitment and retention play in the current version of the Oregon interest arbitration statute, it makes no sense to refuse to compare OSP compensation with that offered by the actual local competitors for these employees' services.(17)
The fifth preliminary issue involves the State's introduction of "leveled" comparability data. In cases involving multi-state comparators, under the prior version of the statute, it was not uncommon for interest arbitrators to have to deal with the argument "they may make more, but it costs more to live there, so the effective pay rate has to be adjusted for the differences in cost of living." This argument is still available, it seems to me, as long as it presents "differences in cost of living" only in the form of "the CPI-All Cities Index." The Legislature substituted that very definite language for the previous, loser reference to "the average consumer prices for goods and services." It seems pretty clear that an arbitrator may not "back-door" the current clear Legislative choice of the CPI-All Cities Index by considering compensation data which has been "adjusted" or "leveled" for cost of living differences measured in some other way.
The State proposed to argue comparability in terms of "leveled" compensation data (as it has done in similar cases in the past), and the Association proposed to mount a major attack-including out-of-state witnesses-on the methodology and credibility of the contracting service which had produced that data. From the exhibits that had been offered for the record at that point, it was impossible to tell whether the "leveling" calculation included adjusting for some traditional cost of living factors other than the All-Cities CPI..(18) I announced that I did not understand the statute to allow consideration of "cost of living" factors other than the All-Cities CPI, and that a party offering "leveled" or "adjusted" compensation numbers would have to show that the analysis which produced those numbers did not include adjustment for traditional cost of living factors other than that index. The State accepted that burden without objection.(19) Because of the additional day of hearing set to allow OSP to assemble comparability data reflecting total employee compensation, the Department had an opportunity to prepare and present additional evidence about how the "leveling" process had been calculated. Based on the entire record, the State did not carry the burden of showing that the "leveled" compensation data is not produced by correcting for cost of living factors other than the All-Cities CPI.(20)
On the merits. The State's attempt to produce "overall compensation" numbers reflecting "vacations, holidays and other excused time" ran into some mathematical problems. As the Association's Post Hearing Brief points out, the State's analysis essentially backed out the leave numbers it had added in an attempt to reflect these factors.(21) The State's numbers are still useful, however. It makes sense to adjust for differences in total hours of leave-as the statute expressly requires-by subtracting all such leave hours from annual hours of work: Because the employee does not have to work during his or her leave hours, the annual salary actually results from work during a period determined by the annual hours less the total hours of leave.(22) Using the State's numbers, skipping over all the other remaining issues (e.g., how to properly factor in insurance benefit costs, etc.) and calculating all compensation on the basis of the adjusted annual hours (i.e. annual hours less total annual leave hours) produces the results shown in Table 1.
StateAdjusted Pay% +/- of OR% +/- of OR +6%
Trooper at 5 years:
California38.9221.614.7
Washington34.407.51.4
Oregon32.01
+6%33.93
Nevada29.28(8.5)(13.7)
Idaho25.96(18.9)(23.5)
Trooper at 10 years:
California39.4412.56.1
Washington35.360.8(4.9)
Nevada35.180.3(5.4)
Oregon35.07
+6%37.17
Idaho31.30(10.7)(15.8)
Table 1
These numbers are actually less bleak than those of the State's own exhibit (which attempts unsuccessfully to factor in hours of leave). On that exhibit, at the five year point OSP "adjusted" wages are over 25% behind California and over 7% behind Washington; and at ten years they are almost 16% behind California, 0.4% behind Washington, and a virtual tie with Nevada. The picture gets no brighter when we turn to the Association's "secondary," local comparators. Using the Association's numbers (which are based on 1999-2000 top wage scales, adjusted. only for PERS pick-up rate), all of the following local jurisdictions are more than 10% ahead of OSP: Portland, Beaverton, Gresham, Salem, Eugene, and Clackamas, and Washington Counties. Among local jurisdictions, OSP provided numbers only for the counties. According to those numbers-regardless of whether or not they are corrected to actually reflect leave time-only Clackamas County is 10% ahead of OSP at the ten year point, but all three of the Portland metropolitan counties are over 10% ahead at five years.(23)
The Department did not provide data for major Oregon cities; but its own county data-offered in response to the Association's proposal to compare with the largest Oregon counties-continues the same theme. At the five year point (using figures corrected for hours of leave as above) the Department is 18% behind Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, 14% behind Washington County, over 9% behind Marion County and 7% behind Lane County. Once again, the ten year picture is a bit better: 10% behind both Multnomah and Clackamas County, 7.6% behind Washington County, and nearly tied with Marion and Lane Counties.(24)
In short, for what the parties agree to be the "primary comparators," the State's figures set out in Table 1 are as rosy as the picture gets from OSP's point of view.(25) I therefore skip over many subsidiary comparability issues (e.g. the proper treatment of employer and employee insurance costs and of employer retirement contributions), simply because, on the most optimistic picture the record provides, and treating the Association's incentive proposal simply as a disguised wage increase as OSP characterizes it, the maximum 6% education and certification incentive would still leave a Trooper behind Washington-and, of course, quite far behind California-at the ten year point. At the five year point, where the total compensation lag is the greatest, an employee with a minimum of 38 education "points" would automatically receive at least the 3% intermediate certification incentive. (On the Department's proposal, such an employee would receive no incentive increase unless he or she had actually been awarded an AA degree.) As far as this record shows, no interest arbitrator who has ever considered the issue has found such a rate of overall compensation to serve the interest and welfare of the public. Recruitment and Retention:
(c) The ability of the unit of government to attract and retain qualified personnel at the wage and benefit levels provided.
The Association argues (PHB at 11) that it is not necessary "to wait until the horse is out of the barn before addressing this issue." This factor assumes unusual importance in the case at hand because the Legislature has established a service level of 380 Troopers and Sergeants "routinely assigned to patrol" (quoting a Budget Report Note).(26)
There is not much dispute that Troopers have not often voluntarily departed from the Department in the past. In the 1997-1999 biennium there were only five resignations (three of which occurred in the course of personnel investigations). The Association argues, and I must agree, that those figures should not be automatically projected into the future, because the seniority composition of the unit is changing substantially. Police officers seldom move in the later part of their careers; but the seniority composition of this unit grows shorter and shorter due to the increase in the sworn workforce coupled with the unusual volume of retirements.
There is no dispute in the record that State Police Officers are extremely expensive to train. A Trooper spends sixteen weeks in the academy and three months with a coach before even being allowed the opportunity to be minimally productive on the road. The unusually long, 18-month trial service period for these employees shows how long it takes-and how much initial wage and training costs must be invested-before OSP can even make an informed judgment about whether or not an applicant will make a good Trooper.
The OSP hires at the bottom. As far as this record shows, the agency makes no particular systematic attempt to lure employees from other police agencies in mid career.(27) That means that the evidence of the agency's "ability...to attract ...qualified personnel" is inherently limited: there could be crowds of potential mid-career applicants, or none. OSP has no opportunity to argue that crowds of trained and experienced mid-career police officers are beating on the door; because that door is notoriously closed to lateral transfers. On the other hand, that same policy answers the Association's argument (Post Hearing Brief at 25) that police officers are not transferring into what should be "the premier law enforcement agency in the state" from any other major local police forces.
OSP's applicant pool numbers are not encouraging. In 1995, OSP invited over 4,200 minimally qualified applicants to take the admission test, and 1,157 (about 25%) accepted. At the beginning of 1996, OSP invited 2,279 such applicants, and 761 (33%) accepted. At the beginning of 2000, OSP invited almost 1,500; 587 (39%) tested; and 277 (18% of those invited and 47% of those tested) passed the written and physical tests. After the subsequent interviews, the Department determined that 84 of the applicants were qualified for the 40 vacancies. If those numbers are not untypical, then it takes about 18 minimally qualified applicants to generate one qualified potential OSP trainee. (The record provides no adequate explanation for the apparent steady decline in the numbers of minimally qualified applicants for Trooper positions.)
There were 90 retirements and a total of 14 other departures from the Department's Trooper/Senior Trooper ranks during the 1997-1999 biennium. As long ago as 1996, OSP accurately projected its retirements during the current, 1999-2001 biennium at 110, with an additional 82 during the 2001-2003 biennium. In addition, the Legislature authorized 100 new patrol officers. Filling those 292 vacancies, at the rate of 18 minimally qualified applicants per each qualified potential trainee, would take a pool of over 5,200 minimally qualified applicants; and nothing in this record suggests that such a pool is available at current pay levels. In fact, the OSP recruiting officer told the Association President that OSP, like many other police employers, was having trouble finding adequate qualified applicants.
The record shows no retention problem to date. Police officers are among the most employer-stable of public employees. The Association argues that that stability is generally less in the early years of a law enforcement career.(28) If that general claim is correct, then the high percentage of recent hires may justify some concern over retention in the near future, given the compensation differential between OSP and large local police agencies. In mid-1999 52 percent of the force was Senior Trooper; and by January, 2000 that percentage had declined to 47. The Association's figures show that a young Trooper with a BA degree could make almost $1,000 more per month by transferring out to the City of Portland. Moreover, as the Association points out (Post Hearing Brief at 58)
virtually every mid to large police agency in the Willamette Valley and the State of Oregon offers an incentive based on DPSST certificates [so] a trooper with an intermediate or advanced DPSST can turn that certificate into cash simply by taking a position with another Oregon jurisdiction. The CPI Index:
(f) The CPI-All Cities Index, commonly known as the cost of living.
The Department argues that "compensation for a typical Trooper/Senior Trooper has significantly outpaced the CPI since the inception of the unit." The Department calculates the wage increase since 1992 at 18.9%, compared with an 18.1% increase in the All Cities CPI-W index. Neither party finds any greater support than that in considerations of the CPI index factor. Ability to pay:
(b) The reasonable financial ability of the unit of government to meet the costs of the proposed contract giving due consideration and weight 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.
The parties agree that they do not have very good data about how many employees would be eligible for the education and certification incentives which account for most of the difference in the costs of the two packages. With that caveat, OSP calculates the 1999-2001 cost difference in the two packages at approximately $200,000.(29)
The Department provided a detailed account of the budgeting process which resulted in the approval of the current overall compensation level-and employer cost-for these employees. The last Legislature funded compensation increases, in part, by appropriating $40M to the Emergency Board against such future needs. In October, 1999, DAS estimated that the available $40M, together with "other" and federal funds, would cover about half of those actual costs; and the E Board asked DAS to detail steps taken by the various agencies to hold their personnel cost increases within those available funds. At the end of January, 2000, DAS reported that task was completed; and near the end of February the Legislative Fiscal office agreed, noting
[DAS] now reports that all General Fund agencies will experience some reduction in flexibility, but that most agencies will manage the shortfall by holding vacancies open longer and by reducing expenditures on supplies and services.
* * * It is too early to identify with certainty agencies whose ability to deliver core services will be impaired because of the funding shortfall. If and when it is determined that additional general Fund support is required to maintain core services, agencies may be compelled to request support from the Emergency Board. * * *
The Legislative Fiscal Office also recommended that OSP be required
to report to the Emergency Board if unforseen circumstances prompt significant business plan changes that will adversely affect the Department's ability to meet legislatively established minimum patrol staffing levels.
There is not much dispute that neither the Department nor the State is carrying more than "a reasonable operating reserve against future contingencies."(30) There is not much dispute that the OSP has substantially reduced capital outlay expenditures (by about $1.3M, or 18 percent of that item budget). The Department's current budget also reduced costs by almost $1M by delaying three planned recruit schools for periods varying from one to five months. Of course, that delay also retards the appearance of those new Troopers on the street. In addition, OSP cut another $0.7M in costs by holding vacant 11 management, four non-sworn, two sworn fish and wildlife, and one sworn investigative positions. Once again, of course, the consequences of that action is that those employees are not on the street. The Association argues that the relatively modest difference in the costs of the proposals here has actually already been more than covered by additional vacancies maintained since the last visit to the Emergency Board.
The Department proposes to include consideration of the projected cost difference between the two proposals in the next biennium. The Association objects, and I must agree that the primary focus of the ability to pay inquiry must be on current ability. There are imaginable situations in which a forthcoming revenue shortfall or economic downturn would have to be addressed as a train already on the track and coming up fast. This is not such a case. In fact, the Department of Administrative Services' own Office of Economic Analysis issued a March, 2000, report showing an increase in General Fund revenues of almost $86M in this biennium (as compared with the December, 1999 forecast) and a very substantial 9.75% increase in General Fund revenues for the 2001-2003 biennium (up over $237M from the December, 1999, forecast).
Issues other than the education/certification incentive: As I indicated at the beginning, none of these issues comes close to the overall cost or general public interest significance of the main dispute, and I will therefore recite the issues and underlying facts only briefly.
Bomb Squad differential. Both parties propose increasing the compensation of these employees, but the Association proposes a 10% differential (on the base) and OSP proposes to double the current $5 per hour and to expand the time during which that differential will be paid to include work on "actual or suspected explosive devices" and the destruction of high explosives (adding a definition of that term).(31) OSP employs one of four specialized bomb squads in Oregon, in three teams, in Salem, Medford and Pendleton. The others are part of the Eugene, Salem and Portland police departments. There are six Bomb Technicians in this unit. For most of the Bomb Technicians, those duties account for only a small part of their working time.(32)
As far as the record shows, OSP has consistently filled these positions with internal postings, and there have been no recent voluntary departures from the bomb squad.
Pilot differential. The Department proposes to double the existing differential, from $5 to $10 per hour for actual flying time. The Association proposes 15% of base pay for the first three years in the assignment and 20% thereafter.
OSP uses both single and twin engine planes. Although the larger planes require more skill, training and experience, the current system of paying for pilot differential by the hour does not reflect that difference; and the pilots of the smaller planes actually make more in differential payments. There has been only one opening in the last three years, when the incumbent voluntarily returned to patrol; and there are now several Troopers with some flight time who would like a pilot slot if one were to open in the near future. Flying hours appear to run between about 300 and 500 per year (out of 2080).
Questioned Document Examiner differential. According to the Association's numbers, at the five year point OSP is just about 60% behind the total compensation of similar employees in California and over 7% behind those in Washington.
Communications System Analyst and CSA 2 Differential. The Association proposes a 7% January 1, 2000, and again January 1, 2001. Within the State's workforce, CSAs are employed in OSP, ODOT, Forestry and Corrections. There is no serious dispute that the selective increase proposed for these employees in the case at hand is the direct result of ODOT's setting very significantly higher pay rates for the ODOT employees performing substantially the same work (there titled Information System Specialists).(33) Although the State attempts to maintain a coherent pay rate system, some large individual agencies have the authority to set their own pay rates. The record does not show whether ODOT's rates were set through inadvertence or were calculated to raid other agencies for the short supply of such skills. At least two such employees left OSP for the higher pay doing fundamentally the same work at ODOT. There are ten such employees at OSP. The Department costs the Association's proposed selective wage rate increase at just over $26,000.
The Department's Post Hearing Brief argues that "one agency's aberrant classification cannot serve as a benchmark for a salary increase . . . for properly classified OSP employees . . ." But of course an underlying axiom for the arbitration of most classification and pay rate disputes is that it does not matter what the employer calls any of the employees being compared; what matters is the work they do. In this case, there is no substantial dispute that no difference in the character of the work performed by the OSP and by the ODOT employees justifies a substantial pay rate differential between them.
Telecommunicators. The Department proposes two 3% increases (as of July 1, 2000, and January 1, 2001) for these employees to address a chronic recruitment and retention problem. The Association opposes the increase. It agrees that there is a chronic turnover problem, but argues that the record does not suggest that problem is based on compensation. The Association's 1995-97 proposal in interest arbitration included a special increase for these employees; the OSP prevailed in that case. The parties then agreed to a 10% special increase for them in the 1997-1999 contract.
There are about 22 FTE budgeted Telecommunicator 1 positions, and 62 FTE Telecommunicator 2 positions. More than a dozen of those positions are now vacant-including 12 at the Western Regional office in Salem--and have been for a considerable time, despite OSP's attempts to recruit for them. On the other hand, OSP's own numbers seem to show that Telecommunicator 2s are now at 115% of the four contiguous state "average"at the ten year point.(34) They are 6.5% over California and about 7.25% over Washington (without correcting for the slightly higher total paid leave hours of the OSP employees).(35) Of the 26 departures from these positions in calendar 1998 and 1999, as far as OSP's records show, only three could possibly be characterized as wage-rate-driven, and the employees frequently mention dissatisfaction with mandatory overtime, inflexible scheduling, and conflicts with supervisors.(36) On the other hand, there is no reason at all to doubt the Division Director's testimony that there is an open and competitive market for such call-takers in dispatch centers around the state.
Trades Maintenance Worker 2 & Coordinator differential. The Department proposes a 3% differential for these employees, and the Association proposes instead to add a step at the top of their pay range. The record on this issue is very sketchy; but what record there is shows that employees in the same classification-and performing the same work-in the State's general employee bargaining unit represented by OPEU top out one step higher than the corresponding OSP employees.
Vacation Accrual. The Association proposes to increase the maximum vacation accrual from 250 to 350 hours while not increasing the amount of vacation accrual that an employee may cash out upon termination. The Department argues that there is no comparability data justifying that proposal (California combines vacation and sick leave hours and those numbers are therefore uninstructive); but the limit proposed by the Association is exactly that now applicable to executive service, management service and unclassified unrepresented State employees.
Other language issues. The parties agree that the other minor language changes they propose are not of substantial significance, except that the Association opposes the Department's proposal to incorporate various MOUs into the language of the contract itself. As far as the record shows, that proposal, too, is not of substantial significance.
CONCLUSION: THE INTEREST AND WELFARE OF THE PUBLIC
The bottom line in this case is pretty simple: Even using the Department's comparability figures, and even without addressing the many disputes about various aspects of those figures, the overall compensation numbers now show that the Department has fallen out of its proper place with respect to the agreed four comparable states, particularly at the five year point. The substantial number of new hires over the course of this contract makes that decline particularly untimely.(37) The Association's education/certification incentive program amounts to an almost automatic 3% increase at the five year point. Considering the education/certification proposal as a "thinly disguised" pay rate increase, that increase remedies a comparability picture which no arbitrator who has ever considered this unit has found to be acceptable.(38) Considering the very long start-up time and substantial initial training costs of a Trooper, the loss of only a very few troopers through lateral transfer would ultimately be more expensive than the modest cost of the Association's proposal. Moreover, the addition of the new incentives will make the Department more competitive in the market for the short supply of truly qualified applicants, and particularly for the part of that pool with AA and BA degrees.
There are two unfortunate consequences of the overall superiority of the Association's package: First, if this were an issue-by-issue proceeding, I would certainly award the Telecommunicators the increase proposed by the Department. This is not because I disagree with the Association's argument that the data do not establish that the turnover in that classification is based on pay rate. It is, rather, that the turnover rate is so shocking, and the safety hazard of overworked and-with such turnover-underexperienced employees in these positions is so great that it seems to me that the welfare and interest of the public would be well served by providing the Department with the additional tool of higher pay as it works toward a solution to the turnover and recruitment problem. Second, considered in isolation, nothing in this record begins to justify the Association's proposed 20% differential for pilots of more than three years tenure. In package-based interest arbitration there is an inevitable hazard that the prevailing package will include one or two quite disreputable minor proposals. This is such a case.
None of the other disputes here weigh very strongly toward one package or the other, so the final answer must be that the Association's education/certification proposal will put the key classifications into nearly their proper relationship to their agreed comparables, particularly at the five year point which should be most attractive for recruitment purposes. None of the other secondary factors outweighs this consideration, and the interest and welfare of the public will better be served by the Association's package.
AWARD
I hereby select the last best offer submitted by the Association. By stipulation of the parties, that last best offer includes all the parties' tentative agreements reached in negotiations up to and including the interest arbitration hearing.
Respectfully submitted,
Howell L. Lankford Arbitrator
Representing the Association: Daryl S. Garrettson, Esq., and Garrettson Goldberg Fenrich & Makler
Representing the Department: Ann Boss, Assistant Attorney General
APPENDIX LAST BEST OFFERS
(Strikeout in original: Between {}; Underline in original: Between [])
OSPOA LAST BEST OFFER - February 15, 2000
ARTICLE 20 - VACATION
20.1 Accruals. Paid vacation leave is earned each month of paid employment at the following rates:
YEARS HOURS/MONTH DAYS/YEAR
0-5 8 12
6-10 10 15
11-15 12 18
16-20 14 21
20+ 16 24
For purposes of the above table, an employee's "years" shall be the employee's total service with the State of Oregon.
20.2 Selection of Vacation Times. Subject to the reasonable operating needs of the Employer, vacation time shall be selected on the basis of departmental seniority on an office-by-office basis. Signups shall commence on [October 1] {November 1}. The results of signups shall be posted by [December 31] {March 1}. [The Association worksite representative shall be responsible to circulate the vacation schedule during the signup period. The maximum number of working days an employee has to sign up for vacation leave during the signup period shall be determined by each worksite. Employees who do not sign up during their signup period will waive their rights for selection based on seniority.] If an employee transfers into a station or worksite after the cut off date for scheduling of vacations, the employee shall not be entitled to exercise his/her seniority for vacation purposes for the balance of that calendar year. The employee who transfers and his/her new supervisor will schedule a mutually agreeable time for vacation leave.
Subject to supervisory approval employees may change vacation days after the initial vacation signups; provided, however, that such changes shall not displace the already selected vacations of other employees.
20.3 Accrual Limitations.
An employee may accumulate up to a maximum of [three] {two} hundred fifty ([350]) {(250)} hours of vacation leave. [Only two hundred fifty (250) hours of vacation may be cashed out upon termination of employment.]
The Employer shall continue to advise the employee by computer printout each month of the vacation leave accrued. When an employee is about to lose vacation credit due to accrual limitation because of the Employer's insistence that the employee be at work during a scheduled vacation period, the Employer shall permit the employee sufficient leave to prevent loss of vacation credit. The Employer shall make a reasonable good faith effort to permit such vacation at a mutually agreeable time. If the employee makes such request after the 15th-of the month, the Employer may assign the vacation time to be taken.
20.4 Death or Termination.
In the event of termination of an employee who is otherwise entitled vacation credits, the employee shall be entitled to payment for earned vacation leave. In the event of death, earned but unused vacation shall be paid in the same manner as salary.
20.5 New Employees. New employees shall not be credited with their vacation earnings until they have completed six (6) months of service with the Department. Similarly, an employee entering the service of the Oregon State Police from another state agency may be credited with up to eighty (80) hours of previously earned vacation; however, such accruals shall not be credited until satisfactory completion of the probationary period with the Department.
20.6 Disallowance of Vacation Time. The Employer may disallow the taking of any vacation leave by employees subject to the reasonable staffing needs of the Employer.
20.7 Callbacks from Vacation.
20.7.1 In the event that an employee is required to be called back to work by the Department for any purpose during a period of authorized vacation leave or days off adjacent thereto where the vacation has been approved by the Department more than 30 days prior to the callback, the following rules shall apply:
20.7.1.1 If the callback is on the employee's regular work day, the employee shall receive his/her regular straight time pay for the day, shall not be charged for the vacation day worked and shall be paid overtime for the time worked on the callback (subject to callback minimum payments, where applicable)
20.7.1.2 If the callback is on the employee's regular day off, the employee shall be paid overtime for the time worked on the callback (subject to callback minimum payments, where applicable), and shall receive an amount of straight time compensatory time off equal to the length of the employee's regular work shift for each day worked on the employee's days off.
20.7.1.3 When an employee is directed by the supervisor to travel in response to a callback, travel up to the length of the employee's normal shift, will be administered per (A) or (B) below:
(A) When travel occurs on a scheduled workday, vacation time will be restored on: (1) an hour for hour basis up to one-half (½) the length of the employee's normal shift, or
(2) when travel exceeds one-half (½) the employee's normal shift, vacation time equal to the employee's normal shift will be restored.
(B) When travel occurs on a regular day off, straight compensatory time will be credited as per (A) (1) or (A) (2) above.
20.7.2 If the callback occurs during vacation time or days off adjacent thereto where the vacation was approved by the Department 30 days or less prior to the callback, the following rules shall apply:
20.7.2.1 If the callback is on the employee's regular work day, the employee shall receive overtime for the time worked on the callback (subject to callback minimum payments, where applicable), shall receive straight time wages for the full day, and shall have vacation hours equivalent to the employee's regular work shift less actual hours worked on the callback deducted from his/her vacation account.
20.7.2.2 If the callback is on the employee's regular day off, the employee shall be paid overtime for the time worked on the callback (subject to callback minimum payments, where applicable), and shall be paid an amount of straight time compensatory time off equivalent to the actual hours worked on the callback.
[20.7.2.3 Vacation callback only applies to days off adjacent if the employee has vacation both immediately before and after, or at least two (2) days adjacent thereto. Holidays are days off for the purpose of vacation callback.]
20.7.3 In addition, the Employer shall reimburse the employee for all reasonable travel costs associated with traveling to and from the worksite. Employees shall not be placed on standby on days off adjacent to a vacation period unless emergency conditions exist.
20.7.4 The employer may not delay the approval of vacation requests for the purposes of avoiding the payments called for in this section.
20.8 Cash Out of Vacation.
The employee shall be allowed to cash out up to eighty (80) hours of accumulated vacation time each year when the employee requests vacation time and is denied, and such denial causes a reasonable expectation on the part of the employee that accumulated hours of vacation time belonging to the employee will be lost.
ARTICLE 25 - COMPENSATION
25.1 Wage Scales.
[Effective October 1, 1999, the salary rates for all classifications shall be increased by an amount equal to two (2) percent of the amounts stated therein.]
[Effective January 1, 2001, the salary rates for all classifications then in effect shall be increased by an amount equal to two (2) percent of the amounts then in effect.]
[In addition to the increases provided above, the salary rates for the classifications of Communication System Analyst I and Communication System Analyst II shall be increased by an amount equal to seven (7) percent on January 1, 2000, and by an amount equal to seven (7) percent on January 1, 2001.]
[In addition to the increases provided above, the salary range for the classifications of Trades Maintenance Worker II and Trades Maintenance Coordinator shall, effective July 1, 2000, have a new last step added which is five (5) percent higher than the previous step.]
{Effective July 1, 1997, all salary rates shall be increased by two and one-half percent (2.5%).}
{Effective September 1, 1998, all salary rates shall be increased by three and one-half percent (3.5%).}
{Effective July 1, 1998, a selective salary adjustment of three percent (3%) for the following new classifications: Communication System Analyst 1 and 2, Trades Maintenance Worker 2, and Trades Maintenance coordinator.}
{Effective December 1, 1997, a selective salary adjustment of five percent (5%) for Telecommunicator I and II classifications.}
{Effective December 1, 1998, a selective salary adjustment of five percent (5%) for Telecommunicator I and II classifications.}
Employees shall be paid from the monthly or hourly wage, as appropriate, according to the following wage scale:
Classification
Executive Security {7/1/97 (2.5%)} {9/1/98 (3.5%)}
First Step {$2,159} {$2,235}
($12.46 hourly rate), i.e. $2,159÷173.33 hrs)}
Second Step {$2,255} {$2,334}
Third Step {$2,350} {$2,432}
Fourth Step {$2,449} {$2,535}
Fifth Step {$2,553} {$2,642}
-----------------
Sixth Step {$2,656} {$2,749}
Seventh Step {$2,733} {$2,829}
Eighth Step {$2,809} {$2,907}
Recruit*
First Year {$2,722} {$2,817}
Second Year (12 month step) {$2,847} {$2,947}
*Recruit step increase at twelve (12) months. No step increase when promoted to Trooper at completion of trial service. Subsequent steps on annual basis from last step increase.
Trooper
First Step {$2,847} {$2,947}
Second Step {$2,976} {$3,080}
Third Step {$3,116} {$3,225}
Fourth Step {$3,251} {$3,365}
Fifth Step {$3,405} {$3,524}
Senior Trooper
First Step {$3,563} {$3,688}
-----------------
Second Step {$3,706} {$3,836}
Third Step {$3,812} {$3,945}
Fourth Step {$3,920} {$4,057}
Criminalist III
First Step {$3,116} {$3,225}
Second Step {$3,251} {$3,365}
Third Step {$3,405} {$3,524}
Fourth Step {$3,563} {$3,688}
Fifth Step {$3,894} {$4,030}
Sixth Step {$4,078} {$4,221}
----------------
Seventh Step {$4,242} {$4,390}
Eighth Step {$4,365} {$4,518}
Ninth Step {$4,486} {$4,643}
Communications Systems Analyst I
{7/1/97} {7/1/98} {9/1/98}
First Step {$2,014} {$2,074} {$2,147}
Second Step {$2,113} {$2,176} {$2,252}
Third Step {$2,213} {$2,279} {$2,359}
Fourth Step {$2,319} {$2,389} {$2,473}
Fifth Step {$2,433} {$2,506} {$2,594}
Sixth Step {$2,549} {$2,625} {$2,717}
Seventh Step {$2,671} {$2,751} {$2,847}
Communications Systems Analyst II
First Step {$2,213} {$2,279} {$2,359}
Second Step {$2,319} {$2,389} {$2,473}
Third Step {$2,433} {$2,506} {$2,594}
Fourth Step {$2,549} {$2,625} {$2,717}
Fifth Step {$2,671} {$2,751} {$2,847}
Sixth Step {$2,801} {$2,885} {$2,986}
Seventh Step {$2,943} {$3,031} {$3,137}
Communications Systems Analyst III
{7/1/97} {9/1/98}
First Step {$2,916} {$3,018}
Second Step {$3,059} {$3,166}
Third Step {$3,213} {$3,325}
Fourth Step {$3,369} {$3,487}
Fifth Step {$3,531} {$3,655}
Sixth Step {$3,704} {$3,834}
-----------------
Seventh Step {$3,853} {$3,988}
Eighth Step {$3,963} {$4,102}
Ninth Step {$4,074} {$4,217}
Forensic Scientist - Entry
First Step {$2,594} {$2,685}
Second Step {$2,717} {$2,812}
Third Step {$2,847} {$2,947}
Fourth Step {$2,976} {$3,080}
Fifth Step {$3,116} {$3,225}
Sixth Step {$3,251} {$3,365}
Seventh Step {$3,405} {$3,524}
-----------------
Eighth Step {$3,541} {$3,665}
Ninth Step {$3,644} {$3,771}
Tenth Step {$3,746} {$3,877}
Forensic Scientist 1
First Step {$3,140} {$3,250}
Second Step {$3,297} {$3,412}
Third Step {$3,462} {$3,583}
Fourth Step {$3,635} {$3,762}
Fifth Step {$3,816} {$3,950}
Sixth Step {$4,009} {$4,149}
Seventh Step {$4,209} {$4,356}
-----------------
Eighth Step {$4,377} {$4,530}
Ninth Step {$4,503} {$4,661}
Tenth Step {$4,629} {$4,791}
Forensic Scientist 2
First Step {$3,461} {$3,582}
Second Step {$3,635} {$3,762}
Third Step {$3,816} {$3,950}
Fourth Step {$4,008} {$4,148}
Fifth Step {$4,209} {$4,356}
Sixth Step {$4,408} {$4,562}
Seventh Step {$4,619} {$4,781}
----------------
Eighth Step {$4,803} {$4,971}
Ninth Step {$4,939} {$5,112}
Tenth Step {$5,079} {$5,257}
Latent Print Examiner
First Step {$2,594} {$2,685}
Second Step {$2,717} {$2,812}
Third Step {$2,847} {$2,947}
Fourth Step {$2,976} {$3,080}
Fifth Step {$3,116} {$3,225}
Sixth Step {$3,251} {$3,365}
Seventh Step {$3,405} {$3,524}
-----------------
Eighth Step {$3,541} {$3,665}
Ninth Step {$3,644} {$3,771}
Tenth Step {$3,746} {$3,877}
Questioned Document Examiner
First Step {$2,594} {$2,685}
Second Step {$2,717} {$2,812}
Third Step {$2,847} {$2,947}
Fourth Step {$2,976} {$3,080}
Fifth Step {$3,116} {$3,225}
Sixth Step {$3,251} {$3,365}
Seventh Step {$3,405} {$3,524}
-----------------
Eighth Step {$3,541} {$3,665}
Ninth Step {$3,644} {$3,771}
Tenth Step {$3,746} {$3,877}
Telecommunicator I
{7/1/97} {12/1/97} {9/1/98} {12/1/98}
First Step {$1,647} {$1,729} {$1,790} {$1,880}
Second Step {$1,730} {$1,817} {$1,881} {$1,975}
Third Step {$1,815} {$1,906} {$1,973} {$2,072}
Fourth Step {$1,881} {$1,975} {$2,044} {$2,146}
Fifth Step {$1,974} {$2,073} {$2,146} {$2,253}
Sixth Step {$2,066} {$2,169} {$2,245} {$2,357}
Seventh Step {$2,162} {$2,270} {$2,349} {$2,466}
-----------------
Eighth Step {$2,248} {$2,360} {$2,443} {$2,565}
Ninth Step {$2,313} {$2,429} {$2,514} {$2.640}
Tenth Step {$2,379} {$2,498} {$2,585} {$2,714}
Telecommunicator II
First Step {$1,881} {$1,975} {$2,044} {$2,146}
Second Step {$1,974} {$2,073} {$2,146} {$2,253}
Third Step {$2,062} {$2,165} {$2,241} {$2,353}
Fourth Step {$2,169} {$2,277} {$2,357} {$2,475}
Fifth Step {$2,273} {$2,387} {$2,471} {$2,595}
Sixth Step {$2,380} {$2,499} {$2.586} {$2,715}
Seventh Step {$2,489} {$2,613} {$2,704} {$2,839}
-----------------
Eighth Step {$2,589} {$2,718} {$2,813} {$2,954}
Ninth Step {$2,663} {$2,796} {$2,894} {$3,039}
Tenth Step {$2,738} {$2,875} {$2,976} {$3,125}
Trades Maintenance Worker 2
{7/1/97} {7/1/98} {9/1/98}
First Step {$1,748} {$1,800} {$1,863}
Second Step {$1,835} {$1,890} {$1,956}
Third Step {$1,916} {$1,973} {$2,042}
Fourth Step {$2,014} {$2,074} {$2,147}
Fifth Step {$2,113} {$2,176} {$2,252}
Sixth Step {$2,213} {$2,279} {$2,359}
Seventh Step {$2,319} {$2,389} {$2,473}
[Eighth Step (Effective 7/1/00)]
Trades Maintenance Coordinator
First Step {$2,639} {$2,718} {$2,813}
Second Step {$2,765} {$2,847} {$2,947}
Third Step {$2,902} {$2,989} {$3,094}
[Fourth Step (Effective 7/1/00)]
The three highest pay steps on all wage scales except [Recruit/Trooper, Communication System Analyst I, Communication System Analyst II, Trades Maintenance Worker II, and Trades Maintenance Coordinator] {recruit and trooper} are based on employees anniversary date and shall only apply to employees who meet the performance criteria and complete, respectively, 10, 15 and 20 years of State Police service.
Advancement to the new pay steps shall be subject to the provisions of Article 25.3.
25.2 Pay Periods. Employees shall be paid as per past practice.
25.3 Step Increases.
Employees shall be entitled to merit or merit based on years of service step increases as provided, subject only to disapproval of such increases by the Superintendent due to unsatisfactory performance on the part of the employee. Any disapproval shall continue until the employee receives a satisfactory rating, but shall be subject to Article 12 of the Agreement. In addition beginning with the class of 1990 (except the criminalist) after an employee has advanced through each of the lower steps in the range and has on their subsequent anniversary dates after reaching the maximum lower step in the range, concluded 10, 15, 20 years of service with the Department and satisfactory performance may be granted that step reflecting years of service on their anniversary date in the same manner as a normal merit step advancement, provided twelve months has elapsed between the last merit step increase and their anniversary date. The 10, 15, 20 years steps do not apply to employees [excepted in Article 25.1] {in Recruit and Trooper classification}. Any step increases which are approved become effective on the merit evaluation date. If employee has not had denial or delay of a step increase or break in service longer than 15 days, then their 10, 15, 20 year step increase will be granted upon a satisfactory performance evaluation on their anniversary date. Sergeant, Forensic Scientist I, Telecommunicator II who have prior regular service in a lower classification will receive 10, 15, 20 year step on their regular evaluation date following the completion of 10, 15, 20 years of service and satisfactory evaluation.
Merit/years of service steps may not be used for promotional increases.
25.4 Shift Differential.
Shift Differential pay will be paid at the rate of 2.25% per hour at the employee's regular rate of pay for hours worked between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
25.5 Uniform Allowance.
The Employer agrees to provide required uniforms and equipment for employees in the bargaining unit. The Employer agrees to repair or replace both personal and Employer-owned uniforms, equipment and property damaged or destroyed on duty unless gross negligence can be shown on the part of the employee. Repair or replacement of the following items shall not exceed the following costs:
1. Watches, actual cost not to exceed $35.00.
2. Corrective lens, excluding frames. Actual cost not to exceed reasonable replacement of damaged item(s).
a. Eye glass frames not to exceed $75.00.
Receipts will be required prior to payment by the Employer. Repair or replacement of non-listed items shall not exceed reasonable costs for only those items which are normally associated with an employee's on-duty status. The Employer agrees to provide each employee in the bargaining unit required to wear a uniform, the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25) per month for cleaning the uniform. Fish and Wildlife Division employees may be reimbursed up to forty dollars ($40) for purchase of rubber boots or may continue to order through General Headquarters. Fish and Wildlife Division employees may also be reimbursed up to one hundred and ten dollars ($110) per biennium for purchase of leather boots. [In lieu of the leather boot allowance, Fish and Wildlife Division employees may elect to receive Department issued boots.] Receipts shall be required to document actual costs for all boot purchases. At the option of the Department, rubber boots purchased with the boot allowance shall become the property of the Department when the employee has concluded use of the boots.
25.6 Plainclothes Allowance.
Sworn employees, authorized in writing to perform normal day-to-day duties in civilian clothing in lieu of a uniform, shall be reimbursed for the purchase of civilian clothes reasonably necessary for the efficient operations of the Department, subject to prior supervisory approval, up to eight hundred dollars ($800) actual cost per biennium and twenty-five dollars ($25) per month cleaning allowance. Sworn employees shall be eligible for this reimbursement if they serve all or part of the biennium in eligible assignments. However, communication systems analysts shall be reimbursed for the purchase of civilian clothes reasonably necessary for the efficient operations of the Department, subject to prior approval up to seventy-five dollars ($75) actual cost per fiscal year. A receipt shall be required to document actual cost.
25.7 Duty Differentials.
25.7.1 [Effective July 1, 2000, e]{E}mployees assigned as pilots in an aircraft shall receive a [monthly] {$5.00 per flight hour} premium [of fifteen percent (15%) of their base pay for the first three winters or 1,000 hours (whichever is later), in such assignment, and a monthly premium equal to twenty percent (20%) of their base pay thereafter.]
25.7.2 Employees assigned as divers shall receive a premium of $5.00 per hour for all time worked as a diver.
25.7.3 Employees assigned to handle hazardous material during transport to any disposal sites shall receive a premium of $5.00 per transport hour.
25.7.4 Percentages calculated under this section shall be computed on the basis of the employee's regular base pay.
25.7.5 [Effective July 1, 2000, employees assigned as] Bomb Technicians shall receive a [monthly] premium of [ten percent (10%) of their base pay] {$5.00 per hour while conducting render-safe operations}.
[25.7.6 Effective January 1, 2001, employees possessing either an associate's degree or an intermediate certificate from DPSST shall receive a monthly premium in the amount of three percent (3%) of their base pay. Employees possessing either a bachelor's degree or an advanced certificate from DPSST shall receive a monthly premium in the amount of six percent (6%) of their base pay. Employees may receive one or the other premium provided for in this paragraph, but in no event shall an employee receive more than six percent (6%) under this subsection.]
[25.7.7 The premiums provided for in 25.7.1, 25.7.2, 25.7.3, 25.7.4, 25.7.5, and 25.7.6 are cumulative.]
25.8 Communications Systems Analyst III Positions.
25.8.1 The wages of those employees who performed the work of Communications Specialist 4's while holding the rank of Sergeant will be those reflected as per an agreement reached November 16, 1989, between the parties.
25.9 Rounding.
Where monies are rounded under this Agreement, amounts less than .50 cents shall be rounded down to the nearest cent, and amounts in excess of .49 cents shall be rounded up to the nearest cent.
ARTICLE 28 - RETIREMENT PROGRAM
Section 1. The State will continue to "pick up" a six percent (6%) average employee contribution to the Public Employees Retirement Fund for the employee members participating in the Public Employees Retirement System. Such state "pick up" or payment of employee member monthly contributions to the System shall continue for the life of this Agreement.
The full amount of required employee contributions "picked up" or paid by the state on behalf of employees pursuant to this Agreement shall be considered as "salary" within the meaning of ORS [238.005(11)] {237.003(8)} for the purposes of computing an employee member's "final average salary" within the meaning of ORS [238.005(15)] {237.003(12)} but shall not be considered as "salary" for the purposes of determining the amount of employee contributions required to be contributed pursuant to ORS [238.200] {237.071}. Such state "pick up" or paid employee contribution shall be credited to the employee's account pursuant to ORS [238.200(2) and ORS 238.005 to 238.750] {237.071(2) and ORS 237.001 to 237.320}.
Section 2. If, by reason of a change in law, valid ballot measure, constitutional amendment, or a final, non-appealable judgement from a court of competent jurisdiction, the Employer must discontinue the 6% "pickup" of the employee's contributions to the PERS Fund, the Employer shall increase by 6% the base salary rates for each classification in the salary schedules. This transition shall be done in a manner to assume continuous payment of either the 6% pickup or a 6% salary increase.
For the reasons indicated above, or by mutual agreement, should the State cease paying the 6% pickup and provide a salary increase for eligible bargaining unit employees during the term of the Agreement, bargaining unit employees' 6% contributions to their PERS accounts shall be treated as "pre-tax" contributions pursuant to Internal Revenue Service Code, Section 414 (h)(2).
ARTICLE 29 - INSURANCE
29.1 Flexible Benefits Plan. Notwithstanding any past practice to the contrary, an Employer contribution will be made for each eligible employee who was paid regular hours in the month which are at least [eighty (80)]{fifty percent (50%)} of regular full time hours for the month, and participates in the flexible benefits program as administered by the {State Employees' Benefit Board (SEBB) or} Public Employees' Benefit Board (PEBB).
29.2 Contribution.
The Employer shall make available the following flat dollar rate to each eligible participating full-time employee in the bargaining unit [effective January 1, 2000]:
{7/1/95} {12/1/97} {12/1/98} {1/1/00}
Employee {$221.95} {$238.45} {$268.45} {$387.14}
Employee and Spouse {$361.25} {$377.75} {$407.75} {$520.12}
Employee and Child(ren) {$296.46} {$312.96} {$342.96} {$443.59}
Employee and Family {$374.69} {$391.19} {$421.19} {$531.97}
The contribution for eligible participating employees with [eighty (80) hours] {fifty percent (50%)} or more paid time for the month will be prorated based on the ratio of paid hours to full time hours to the nearest full percent.
[Employer contributions for plan year 2001 (January 1, 2001, through December 31, 2001) shall be sufficient to cover the PEBB prototype plans and basic dental coverage as designated by PEBB annually for the employee and family. However, in no event shall the employer's contributions be less than the amount set forth above.]
[During plan years 2000 and 2001, an employee may choose not to participate in a prototype plan and may select a plan of greater or lesser premium cost. If the employee selects a plan of greater premium cost, there may be an out-of-pocket monthly cost to the employee. If the employee selects a lower cost plan, the employee may receive cash back. The amount of any out-of-pocket cost or cash back will be determined by the PEBB.]
29.3 Purpose of Contributions.
The purpose of these flat dollar Employer contributions will be for use in the SEBB Flexible Benefits program. Should the Flexible Benefits program not be available, the flat dollar amount rate stated above will still be made available through alternative programs or distributed to employees in a manner mutually acceptable to the Association and to the State.
[All TA's to date.]
[Unless otherwise modified, current language and current MOU's, except the Letter of Agreement dated October 1998, regarding first month coverage, will not continue.]
OREGON DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE LAST BEST OFFER
ARTICLE 20 - VACATION
20.1 Accruals.
Paid vacation leave is earned each month of paid employment at the following rates:
YEARS HOURS/MONTH DAYS/YEAR
0-5 8 12
6-10 10 15
11-15 12 18
16-20 14 21
20+ 16 24
For purposes of the above table, an employee's "years" shall be the employee's total service with the State of Oregon.
20.2 Selection of Vacation Times.
Subject to the reasonable operating needs of the Employer, vacation time shall be selected on the basis of departmental seniority on an office-by-office basis. Signups shall commence on {November} [October] 1. The results of signups shall be posted by {March} [December 31. The Association work site representative shall be responsible to circulate the vacation schedule during the signup period. The maximum number of working days an employee has to signup for vacation leave during the signup period shall be determined by each work site. Employees who do not signup during their signup period will waive their rights for selection based on seniority.] If an employee transfers into a station or worksite after the cut off date for scheduling of vacations, the employee shall not be entitled to exercise his/her seniority for vacation purposes for the balance of that calendar year. The employee who transfers and his/her new supervisor will schedule a mutually agreeable time for vacation leave.
Subject to supervisory approval employees may change vacation days after the initial vacation signups; provided, however, that such changes shall not displace the already selected vacations of other employees.
20.3 Accrual Limitations.
An employee may accumulate up to a maximum of two hundred fifty (250) hours of vacation leave.
The Employer shall continue to advise the employee by computer printout each month of the vacation leave accrued. When an employee is about to lose vacation credit due to accrual limitation because of the Employer's insistence that the employee be at work during a scheduled vacation period, the Employer shall permit the employee sufficient leave to prevent loss of vacation credit. The Employer shall make a reasonable good faith effort to permit such vacation at a mutually agreeable time. If the employee makes such request after the 15th-of the month, the Employer may assign the vacation time to be taken.
20.4 Death or Termination.
In the event of termination of an employee who is otherwise entitled vacation credits, the employee shall be entitled to payment for earned vacation leave. In the event of death, earned but unused vacation shall be paid in the same manner as salary.
20.5 New Employees.
New employees shall not be credited with their vacation earnings until they have completed six (6) months of service with the Department. Similarly, an employee entering the service of the Oregon State Police from another state agency may be credited with up to eighty (80) hours of previously earned vacation; however, such accruals shall not be credited until satisfactory completion of the probationary period with the Department
20.6 Disallowance of Vacation Time.
The Employer may disallow the taking of any vacation leave by employees subject to the reasonable staffing needs of the Employer.
20.7 Callbacks from Vacation.
20.7.1 In the event that an employee is required to be called back to work by the Department for any purpose during a period of authorized vacation leave or days off adjacent thereto where the vacation has been approved by the Department more than 30 days prior to the callback, the following rules shall apply:
20.7.1.1 If the callback is on the employee's regular work day, the employee shall receive his/her regular straight time pay for the day, shall not be charged for the vacation day worked and shall be paid overtime for the time worked on the callback (subject to callback minimum payments, where applicable).
20.7.1.2 If the callback is on the employee's regular day off, the employee shall be paid overtime for the time worked on the callback (subject to callback minimum payments, where applicable), and shall receive an amount of straight time compensatory time off equal to the length of the employee's regular work shift for each day worked on the employee's days off.
20.7.1.3 When an employee is directed by the supervisor to travel in response to a callback, travel up to the length of the employee's normal shift, will be administered per (A) or (B) below:
(A) When travel occurs on a scheduled workday, vacation time will be restored on:
(1) An hour for hour basis up to one-half (1/2) the length of the employee's normal shift, or
(2) When travel exceeds one-half (1/2) the employee's normal shift, vacation time equal to the employee's normal shift will be restored.
(B) When travel occurs on a regular day off, straight compensatory time will be credited as per (A) (1) or (A) (2) above.
20.7.2 If the callback occurs during vacation time or days off adjacent thereto where the vacation was approved by the Department 30 days or less prior to the callback, the following rules shall apply:
20.7.2.1 If the callback is on the employee's regular work day, the employee shall receive overtime for the time worked on the callback (subject to callback minimum payments, where applicable), shall receive straight time wages for the full day, and shall have vacation hours equivalent to the employee's regular work shift less actual hours worked on the callback deducted from his/her vacation account.
20.7.2.2 If the callback is on the employee's regular day off, the employee shall be paid overtime for the time worked on the callback (subject to callback minimum payments, where applicable), and shall be paid an amount of straight time compensatory time off equivalent to the actual hours worked on the callback.
[20.7.3 Vacation callback only applies to days off adjacent to vacation leave use when the employee has vacation both immediately before and after their days off or at least two days adjacent thereto.]
20.7.{3}[4] In addition, the Employer shall reimburse the employee for all reasonable travel costs associated with traveling to and from the worksite. Employees shall not be placed on standby on days off adjacent to a vacation period unless emergency conditions exist.
20.7.{4}[5] The employer may not delay the approval of vacation requests for the purposes of avoiding the payments called for in this section.
20.8 Cash Out of Vacation.
The employee shall be allowed to cash out up to eighty (80) hours of accumulated vacation time each year when the employee requests vacation time and is denied, and such denial causes a reasonable expectation on the part of the employee that accumulated hours of vacation time belonging to the employee will be lost.
ARTICLE 25 - COMPENSATION
25.1 Wage Scales.
Effective [October 1, 1999] {July 1, 1997}, all salary rates shall be increased by [two] (2%)] {two and one-half percent (2.5%).}
Effective [January 1, 2001] {September 1, 1998}, all salary rates shall be increased by [two (2%)] {three and one-half percent (3.5%).}
[Effective July 1, 2000, a selective salary adjustment of three percent (3%) for the following classifications: OSP Telecommunicator 1, OSP Telecommunicator 2, Trades Maintenance Worker 2 and Trades Maintenance Coordinator.]
Effective January 1, 2001, a selective salary adjustment of three percent (3%) for the following classifications: OSP Telecommunicator 1 and OSP Telecommunicator 2.]
{Effective July 1, 1998, a selective salary adjustment of three percent (3%) for the following new classifications: Communication System Analyst 1 and 2, Trades Maintenance Worker 2, and Trades Maintenance coordinator.}
[{Effective December 1, 1997, a selective salary adjustment of five percent (5%) for Telecommunicator I and II classifications.}]
{Effective December 1, 1998, a selective salary adjustment of five percent (5%) for Telecommunicator I and II classifications.}
Employees shall be paid from the monthly or hourly wage, as appropriate, according to the following wage scale:
Classification
{7/1/97 (2.5%)} {9/1/98 (3.5%)}
[Current Rates] [New Rates will be entered per Interest Arbitration Award]
Executive Security
First Step {$2,159} $2,235
{($12.46 hourly rate), i.e. $2,159)173.33 hrs)}
Second Step {$2,255} $2,334
Third Step {$2,350} $2,432
Fourth Step {$2,449} $2,535
Fifth Step {$2,553} $2,642
-----------------
{Sixth}[10th Year] Step {$2,656} $2,749
{Seventh}[15th Year] Step {$2,733} $2,829
{Eighth}[20th Year] Step {$2,809} $2,907
Recruit*
First Year {$2,722} $2,817
Second Year (12 month step) {$2,847} $2,947
*Recruit step increase at twelve (12) months. No step increase when promoted to Trooper at completion of trial service. Subsequent steps on annual basis from last step increase.
Trooper
First Step {$2,847} $2,947
Second Step {$2,976} $3,080
Third Step {$3,116} $3,225
Fourth Step {$3,251} $3,365
Fifth Step {$3,405} $3,524
Senior Trooper
First Step {$3,563} $3,688
{Second}[10th Year] Step {$3,706} $3,836
{Third}[15th Year] Step {$3,812} $3,945
{Fourth}[20th Year] Step {$3,920} $4,057
Criminalist III
First Step {$3,116} $3,225
Second Step {$3,251} $3,365
Third Step {$3,405} $3,524
Fourth Step {$3,563} $3,688
Fifth Step {$3,894} $4,030
Sixth Step {$4,078} $4,221
----------------
{Seventh}[10th Year] Step {$4,242} $4,390
{Eighth}[15th Year] Step {$4,365} $4,518
{Ninth}[20th Year] Step {$4,486} $4,643
Communications Systems Analyst I
{7/1/97} {7/1/98} {9/1/98}
First Step {$2,014} {$2,074} $2,147
Second Step {$2,113} {$2,176} $2,252
Third Step {$2,213} {$2,279} $2,359
Fourth Step {$2,319} {$2,389} $2,473
Fifth Step {$2,433} {$2,506} $2,594
Sixth Step {$2,549} {$2,625} $2,717
Seventh Step {$2,671} {$2,751} $2,847
Communications Systems Analyst II
First Step {$2,213} {$2,279} $2,359
Second Step {$2,319} {$2,389} $2,473
Third Step {$2,433} {$2,506} $2,594
Fourth Step {$2,549} {$2,625} $2,717
Fifth Step {$2,671} {$2,751} $2,847
Sixth Step {$2,801} {$2,885} $2,986
Seventh Step {$2,943} {$3,031} $3,137
Communications Systems Analyst III
{7/1/97} {9/1/98}
First Step {$2,916} $3,018
Second Step {$3,059} $3,166
Third Step {$3,213} $3,325
Fourth Step {$3,369} $3,487
Fifth Step {$3,531} $3,655
Sixth Step {$3,704} $3,834
-----------------
{Seventh} 10th Year Step {$3,853} $3,988
{Eighth} [15th Year] Step {$3,963} $4,102
{Ninth} [20th Year] Step {$4,074} $4,217
Forensic Scientist - Entry
First Step {$2,594} $2,685
Second Step {$2,717} $2,812
Third Step {$2,847} $2,947
Fourth Step {$2,976} $3,080
Fifth Step {$3,116} $3,225
Sixth Step {$3,251} $3,365
Seventh Step {$3,405} $3,524
-----------------
{Eighth} [10th Year] {Step $3,541} $3,665
{Ninth} [15th Year] Step {$3,644} $3,771
{Tenth} [20th Year] Step {$3,746} $3,877
Forensic Scientist 1
First Step {$3,140} $3,250
Second Step {$3,297} $3,412
Third Step {$3,462} $3,583
Fourth Step {$3,635} $3,762
Fifth Step {$3,816} $3,950
Sixth Step {$4,009} $4,149
Seventh Step {$4,209} $4,356
-----------------
{Eighth} [10th Year] Step {$4,377} $4,530
{Ninth} [15th Year] Step {$4,503} $4,661
{Tenth} [20th Year] Step {$4,629} $4,791
Forensic Scientist 2
First Step {$3,461} $3,582
Second Step {$3,635} $3,762
Third Step {$3,816} $3,950
Fourth Step {$4,008} $4,148
Fifth Step {$4,209} $4,356
Sixth Step {$4,408} $4,562
Seventh Step {$4,619} $4,781
----------------
{Eighth} [10th Year] Step {$4,803} $4,971
{Ninth} [15th Year] Step {$4,939} $5,112
{Tenth} [20th Year] Step {$5,079} $5,257
Latent Print Examiner
First Step {$2,594} $2,685
Second Step {$2,717} $2,812
Third Step {$2,847} $2,947
Fourth Step {$2,976} $3,080
Fifth Step {$3,116} $3,225
Sixth Step {$3,251} $3,365
Seventh Step {$3,405} $3,524
-----------------
{Eighth} [10th Year] Step {$3,541} $3,665
{Ninth} [15th Year] Step {$3,644} $3,771
{Tenth} [20th Year] Step {$3,746} $3,877
Questioned Document Examiner
First Step {$2,594} $2,685
Second Step {$2,717} $2,812
Third Step {$2,847} $2,947
Fourth Step {$2,976} $3,080
Fifth Step {$3,116} $3,225
Sixth Step {$3,251} $3,365
Seventh Step {$3,405} $3,524
-----------------
{Eighth} [10th Year] Step {$3,541} $3,665
{Ninth} [15th Year] Step {$3,644} $3,771
{Tenth} [20th Year] Step {$3,746} $3,877
Telecommunicator I
{7/1/97} {12/1/97} {9/1/98} {12/1/98}
First Step {$1,647} {$1,729} {$1,790} $1,880
Second Step {$1,730} {$1,817} {$1,881} $1,975
Third Step {$1,815} {$1,906} {$1,973} $2,072
Fourth Step {$1,881} {$1,975} {$2,044} $2,146
Fifth Step {$1,974} {$2,073} {$2,146} $2,253
Sixth Step {$2,066} {$2,169} {$2,245} $2,357
Seventh Step {$2,162} {$2,270} {$2,349} $2,466
-----------------
{Eighth} [10th Year] Step {$2,248} {$2,360} {$2,443} $2,565
{Ninth} [15th Year] Step {$2,313} {$2,429} {$2,514} $2.640
{Tenth} [20th Year] Step {$2,379} {$2,498} {$2,585} $2,714
Telecommunicator II
First Step {$1,881} {$1,975} {$2,044} $2,146
Second Step {$1,974} {$2,073} {$2,146} $2,253
Third Step {$2,062} {$2,165} {$2,241} $2,353
Fourth Step {$2,169} {$2,277} {$2,357} $2,475
Fifth Step {$2,273} {$2,387} {$2,471} $2,595
Sixth Step {$2,380} {$2,499} {$2.586} $2,715
Seventh Step {$2,489} {$2,613} {$2,704} $2,839
-----------------
{Eighth} [10th Year] Step {$2,589} {$2,718} {$2,813} $2,954
{Ninth} [15th Year] Step {$2,663} {$2,796} {$2,894} $3,039
{Tenth} [20th Year] Step {$2,738} {$2,875} {$2,976} $3,125
Trades Maintenance Worker 2
{7/1/97} {7/1/98} {9/1/98}
First Step {$1,748} {$1,800} {$1,863}
Second Step {$1,835} {$1,890} {$1,956}
Third Step {$1,916} {$1,973} {$2,042}
Fourth Step {$2,014} {$2,074} {$2,147}
Fifth Step {$2,113} {$2,176} {$2,252}
Sixth Step {$2,213} {$2,279} {$2,359}
Seventh Step {$2,319} {$2,389} {$2,473}
Trades Maintenance Coordinator
First Step {$2,639} {$2,718} {$2,813}
Second Step {$2,765} {$2,847} {$2,947}
Third Step {$2,902} {$2,989} {$3,094}
The three highest pay steps on all wage scales except [recruit/trooper, Communication Systems Analyst I, Communication Systems Analyst II, Trades Maintenance Worker II and Trades Maintenance Coordinator] {recruit and trooper} are based on employees anniversary date and shall only apply to employees who meet the performance criteria and complete, respectively, 10, 15 and 20 years of State Police service.
Advancement to the new pay steps shall be subject to the provisions of Article 25.3.
25.2 Pay Periods.
Employees shall be paid as per past practice.
25.3 Step Increases. (MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING INCORPORATED WITH MODIFICATION TO CHANGE LONGEVITY STEPS TO 10th, 15th AND 20th YEARS)
[Employees shall be entitled to the] merit {or merit based on years of service} [step increases on the wage scales in Article 25.1], as provided, subject only to disapproval of such increases {by the Superintendent due to unsatisfactory performance on the part of the employee. Any disapproval shall continue until the employee receives a satisfactory rating, but shall be subject to Article 12 of the Agreement. In addition beginning with the class of 1990 (except the criminalist) after an employee has advanced through each of the lower steps in the range and has on their subsequent anniversary dates after reaching the maximum lower step in the range, concluded 10, 15, 20 years of service with the Department and satisfactory performance may be granted that step reflecting years of service on their anniversary date in the same manner as a normal merit step advancement, provided twelve months has elapsed between the last merit step increase and their anniversary date. The 10, 15, 20 years steps do not apply to employees in Recruit and Trooper classification. Any step increases which are approved become effective on the merit evaluation date. If employee has not had denial or delay of a step increase or break in service longer than 15 days, then their 10, 15, 20 year step increase will be granted upon a satisfactory performance evaluation on their anniversary date. Sergeant, Forensic Scientist I, Telecommunicator II who have prior regular service in a lower classification will receive 10, 15, 20 year step on their regular evaluation date following the completion of 10, 15, 20 years of service and satisfactory evaluation.
[Eligible employees shall be entitled to the three highest pay step increases on the wage scales for classifications eligible for longevity merit step increases after an employee has advanced through each of the lower steps in the range in Article 25.1 as provided. (1) Sworn employees shall receive longevity merit step increases upon completion of 10, 15 and 20 years of service in classifications represented by the Oregon State Police Officers' Association and a satisfactory performance evaluation. (2) Non-sworn employees (except non-sworn Communication System Analyst III) shall receive longevity merit step increases on their regular merit evaluation date following completion of 10, 15 and 20 years of service in classifications represented by the Oregon State Police Officers' Association and a satisfactory performance evaluation.]
[The denial of a merit step increase or longevity merit step increase because of performance shall remain effective until the employee receives a satisfactory rating. The denial is subject to Article 12 of the contract.]
[If there has been a break in service longer than fifteen (15) days, the merit step increase date or the longevity merit step increase date will be delayed accordingly. Employees who have been promoted to classifications outside of the bargaining unit and subsequently return to the bargaining unit will have this out of bargaining unit service count towards the longevity merit step.]
[In addition to service and performance requirements, and performance requirements, a merit step increase and a longevity merit step increase will not become effective until twelve months has passed since the last step increase.]
[Merit/years of service steps may not be used for promotional increases.
[(INTENT NOTE IN THE MAY 8, 1998 GRIEVANCE RESOLUTION AND CONTRACT MODIFICATION REMAIN THE SAME)]
25.4 Shift Differential.
Shift Differential pay will be paid at the rate of 2.25% per hour at the employee's regular rate of pay for hours worked between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
25.5 Uniform Allowance.
The Employer agrees to provide required uniforms and equipment for employees in the bargaining unit. The Employer agrees to repair or replace both personal and Employer-owned uniforms, equipment and property damaged or destroyed on duty unless gross negligence can be shown on the part of the employee. Repair or replacement of the following items shall not exceed the following costs:
1. Watches, actual cost not to exceed $35.00.
2. Corrective lens, excluding frames. Actual cost not to exceed reasonable replacement of damaged item(s).
a. Eye glass frames not to exceed $75.00.
Receipts will be required prior to payment by the Employer. Repair or replacement of non-listed items shall not exceed reasonable costs for only those items which are normally associated with an employee's on-duty status. The Employer agrees to provide each employee in the bargaining unit required to wear a uniform, the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25) per month for cleaning the uniform. Fish and Wildlife Division employees may be reimbursed up to forty dollars ($40) for purchase of rubber boots or may continue to order through General Headquarters. Fish and Wildlife Division employees may also be reimbursed up to one hundred and ten dollars ($110) per biennium for purchase of leather boots. Receipts shall be required to document actual costs for all boot purchases. [In lieu of the leather boot allowance, Fish and Wildlife Division employees may elect to receive Department issued boots.] At the option of the Department, rubber boots purchased with the boot allowance shall become the property of the Department when the employee has concluded use of the boots.
25.6 Plainclothes Allowance.
Sworn employees, authorized in writing to perform normal day-to-day duties in civilian clothing in lieu of a uniform, shall be reimbursed for the purchase of civilian clothes reasonably necessary for the efficient operations of the Department, subject to prior supervisory approval, up to eight hundred dollars ($800) actual cost per biennium and twenty-five dollars ($25) per month cleaning allowance. Sworn employees shall be eligible for this reimbursement if they serve all or part of the biennium in eligible assignments. However, communication systems analysts shall be reimbursed for the purchase of civilian clothes reasonably necessary for the efficient operations of the Department, subject to prior approval up to seventy-five dollars ($75) actual cost per fiscal year. A receipt shall be required to document actual cost.
25.7 Duty Differentials.
25.7.1 Employees assigned as pilots in an aircraft shall receive a {$5.00} [ten dollars ($10.00)] per flight hour premium.
25.7.2 Employees assigned as divers shall receive a premium of $5.00 per hour for all time worked as a diver.
25.7.3 Employees assigned to handle hazardous material during transport to any disposal sites shall receive a premium of $5.00 per transport hour.
25.7.4 Percentages calculated under this section shall be computed on the basis of the employee's regular base pay.
24.6.5 Bomb Technicians shall receive a premium of [ten dollars ($10.00)] {$5.00} per hour while conducting render-safe operations [on actual or suspected explosive devices or during the destruction or disposal of blasting caps or other High explosives (as defined by AFT regulations 55.202). For the purposes of this provision the terms render-safe operation, destruction or disposal of explosives does not include the transportation of explosives.]
[24.6.6 Effective January 1, 2001:]
[25.7.6.1 An eligible employee possessing an associate's degree shall receive a monthly premium in the amount of two percent (2%) of base salary rate; or,]
[25.7.6.2 An eligible employee possessing a bachelor's degree or higher shall receive a monthly premium in the amount of four (4%) of base salary rate.]
[25.7.6.3 To be eligible employees to receive one or the other of the following premiums an employee must have a degree from a college or university that is either (a) accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (or its foreign equivalent) or (b) approved by the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization.]
[25.7.6.4 In no event will an employee receive more than four percent (4%) under 25.7.6.]
[25.7.6.5 An employee whose classification requires a degree as a minimum qualification is not eligible to receive the above premiums.]
25.8 Communications Systems Analyst III Positions.
25.8.1 The wages of those employees who performed the work of Communications Specialist 4's while holding the rank of Sergeant will be those reflected as per an agreement reached November 16, 1989, between the parties.
25.9 Rounding.
Where monies are rounded under this Agreement, amounts less than .50 cents shall be rounded down to the nearest cent, and amounts in excess of .49 cents shall be rounded up to the nearest cent.
ARTICLE 28 - RETIREMENT PROGRAM
Section 1. The State will continue to "pick up" a six percent (6%) average employee contribution to the Public Employees Retirement Fund for the employee members participating in the Public Employees Retirement System. Such state "pick up" or payment of employee member monthly contributions to the System shall continue for the life of this Agreement.
The full amount of required employee contributions "picked up" or paid by the state on behalf of employees pursuant to this Agreement shall be considered as "salary" within the meaning of ORS {237.003(8)}[238.005(11)] for the purposes of computing an employee member's "final average salary" within the meaning of ORS {237.003(12)}[{238.005(15)] but shall not be considered as "salary" for the purposes of determining the amount of employee contributions required to be contributed pursuant to ORS {237.071}[238.200]. Such state "pick up" or paid employee contribution shall be credited to the employee's account pursuant to {ORS 237.071(2)}[238.200(2)] and ORS {237.001}[238.005 to 238.750]{237.320}.
Section 2. If, by reason of a change in law, valid ballot measure, constitutional amendment, or a final, non-appealable judgement from a court of competent jurisdiction, the Employer must discontinue the 6% "pickup" of the employee's contributions to the PERS Fund, the Employer shall increase by 6% the base salary rates for each classification in the salary schedules. This transition shall be done in a manner to assume continuous payment of either the 6% pickup or a 6% salary increase.
For the reasons indicated above, or by mutual agreement, should the State cease paying the 6% pickup and provide a salary increase for eligible bargaining unit employees during the term of the Agreement, bargaining unit employees' 6% contributions to their PERS accounts shall be treated as "pre-tax" contributions pursuant to Internal Revenue Service Code, Section 414 (h)(2).
[Note: The above changes are to reflect conformance with the amended statutes and are not subject to collective bargaining.]
ARTICLE 29 - INSURANCE
29.1 Flexible Benefits Plan.
{Notwithstanding any past practice to the contrary, an} Employer contribution will be made for each eligible employee who was paid regular hours in the month which are at least {fifty percent (50%) of} [eighty (80)] regular full time hours for the month, and participates in the flexible benefits program as administered by the {State Employees Benefit Board (SEBB) or }Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB).
29.2 Contribution.
The Employer shall make available the following flat dollar rate to each eligible participating full-time employee in the bargaining unit [effective January 1, 2000]:
{7/1/95} {12/1/97} {12/1/98}
Employee [$387.14] {$221.95} {$238.4} {$268.45}
Employee and Spouse [$520.12] {$361.25} {$377.75} {$407.75}
Employee and Child(ren) [$443.59] {$296.46} {$312.96} {$342.96}
Employee and Family [$531.97] {$374.69} {$391.19} {$421.19}
The contribution for eligible participating employees with [eighty hours (80)] {fifty percent (50%)} or more paid time for the month will be prorated based on the ratio of paid hours to full time hours to the nearest full percent.
[The Employer's insurance contribution for plan year 2001 will be based on the composite of the PEBB prototype contribution tiers. The Employer contributions for plan year 2001 (January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001) shall be sufficient to cover the PEBB prototype plans and basic dental coverage as designated by PEBB annually for the employee and family.]
[During both plan years, 2000 and 2001, an employee may choose not to participate in a prototype plan and may select a plan of greater or lesser premium cost. If the employee selects a plan of greater premium cost, there may be out-of-pocket monthly cost to the employee. If the employee selects a lower cost plan, the employee may receive cash back. The amount of any out-of-pocket cost or cash back will be determined by the PEBB.]
[For plan year 2001, the Employer tiered insurance contribution amounts will not be less than the above tiered contribution amounts.]
29.3 Purpose of Contributions.
The purpose of these flat dollar Employer contributions will be for use in the {SEBB} [PEBB] Flexible Benefits program. Should the Flexible Benefits program not be available, the flat dollar amount rate stated above will still be made available through alternative programs or distributed to employees in a manner mutually acceptable to the Association and to the State.
[NOTE: The attached Memorandum of Understanding dated 10/16/98 and 10/19/98 regarding employee's insurance coverage during his/her initial month of hire will not be continued under the 1999-2001 Collective Bargaining Agreement. This decision is because PEBB has changed its eligibility rules for covered employees. Employee eligibility for coverage is under PEBB's sole authority and is not subject to collective bargaining.]
[All TA's to date.]
[Unless otherwise modified, current language and current MOU's, except the Letter of Agreement dated October 1998, regarding first month coverage, will not continue.]
Footnotes:
1. The State's own description of the unit, apparently dated February 19, 2000, shows about 648 FTE sworn "positions" including 463 Senior Trooper "positions," and the State apparently costed the packages on that basis. The State's late August, 1999 response to the Association's bargaining request for bargaining unit employees' pay rates-by name of employee-showed only 296 Senior Troopers and showed a total sworn workforce of about 589 FTE, including 97 Recruits and 21 Criminologists. The January 31, 2000, roster shows 541 Senior Troopers, Troopers and Recruits.
2. For the sake of readability, the format of the following section does not strictly show all deleted language. Significant new language is shown in bold (here in {}); significant deletions are shown in strike out (here between **); and language in the prior version which was substantially expanded in the current version is shown in italics (here between !!). Notes appearing in square brackets ("[...]") are entirely the arbitrator's.
3. This analysis points to a quandary which seems to me to be inescapable. The threshold determination required under subsection (h) is that "the factors in paragraphs (a) to (g) of this subsection provide sufficient evidence for an award.." But paragraph (a) is "the interest and welfare of the public." The plain language of subsection (h) seems to show that the Legislature contemplated situations in which that "first priority" criterion would not "provide sufficient evidence." This could conceivably mean that the Legislature intended the ultimate test in such cases to be something other than the interest and welfare of the public. The more likely explanation, it seems to me, is that there is never any direct "evidence" of the interest and welfare of the public. Determination of the interest and welfare of the public calls for a value judgment which must be supported by consideration of empirical evidence of factors such as those here defined as being of "secondary priority."
4. 4. The 1989-1991 CBA included incentive pay-with a strong longevity component-and that provision was gone entirely by the 1993-1995 CBA, with the longevity treatment having been replaced by additional longevity steps on the pay schedule. There are now 70 employees still grandfathered into the prior incentive pay provision; and that fact, of course, fits within the total compensation statutory factor. On the other hand, the Association proposes (Post Hearing Brief, at 14) that I consider "under interest and weflare of the public, . . . the tactics of the State in this case." I respectfully decline. Assuming such a consideration might otherwise be proper, it is, at best, an "other factor," which is beyond my reach in the case at hand.
5. Does a "catch up" argument fit within the listed factors? Unions sometimes argue that one of the reasons they should be given a substantial increase now is that they have been so far underpaid for so long in the past. The comparability subsection does not explicitly limit that consideration to "present" compensation; and any substantial consideration of the listed CPI factor seems to invite such an argument (couched in terms of past loss of purchasing power).
6. The Department argues (Post Hearing Brief at 38), for example, that the "pay increases offered to this bargaining unit are the same or higher than raises offered to-and accepted by-most other state bargaining units."
7. The same is true of claims that the opposing party bargained in bad faith or simply did something downright tacky in negotiations, except that it is not at all clear that such arguments ever received much consideration in traditional third-party resolution of interest disputes. Such claims may be relevant, of course, to evaluation of other factors (e.g. falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus).
8. The thumbnail version of one traditional union argument runs "they would have money for our wage increase if they hadn't spent it all on the managers;" and the thumbnail version of one traditional management argument runs "things are so tight that we haven't even given the managers a raise in years."
9. There are many limitations and exceptions to this general rule, but the general rule is universally recognized, for all of that.
10. Two other "other factors" require brief mention. The State spent a lot of time and money in the 1980's on an internal comparability study and realignment of its personnel. It is not at all clear that such issues of "internal comparability" fall under any of the listed statutory factors except when they point to employees doing essentially the same (i.e. "equal" rather than merely "comparable") work. Second, it is not at all clear that the very notion of a labor market fits within the listed statutory factors. The Department's Post Hearing Brief argues as much (at 36ff), without, perhaps, realizing what a shocking suggestion that is. Labor market analysis simply is what modern personnel departments do. Depriving an interest arbitrator of that tool would be like depriving a carpenter of a saw (while reserving the right to complain bitterly about the resulting strange structure the carpenter might be forced to create), and interest arbitrators have generally continued to analyze these cases in labor market terms-as near as possible-without considering the Department's astonishing suggestion-well supported by the language of the statute-that labor market is simply an "other factor," and thus ordinarily out of bounds in these cases.
11. Troopers cannot promote to Sergeant without completing the DPSST supervisor course and certification within a year of the promotion. With that single exception, and except for the overall compensation consideration, I must agree with the Department that its proposal to credit only actual AA and BA degrees-without DPSST equivalents-would better serve the welfare and interest of the public if judged purely from the prospective of the value of college degrees to police officer performance. From the prospective of total compensation, however, the Association's proposal is one percent more for both AA and BA degrees; and I assume that the Department is correct in arguing that the DPSST certification equivalence essentially turns it into a wage rate increase. (The Association's proposal also does not restrict those premiums to classifications which do not require a degree; but the record does not really show whether or not such classifications-which are generally in the non-sworn part of the unit-are substantially behind their comparables, so I cannot conclude that the record particularly favors extending the compensation increases to those employees.)
12. OSP's Post Hearing Brief suggests (at 25) that I "initially objected to the Employer's inclusion of several elements as compensation..." I must respectfully beg to disagree. The State initially presented a comparability case couched entirely in terms of comparison of employer costs, rather than employee compensation; and the State's primary witness on comparability agreed that those figures did not reflect "compensation received . . .as in total wage." It seems to me that the PECBA invests an interest arbitrator with a public duty to insure at least a minimally adequate record on an issue as crucial as comparability. Rather than face the Association's inevitable argument that the State's own witness had agreed that its comparability analysis was not what the statute expressly required, I pointed out that clear statutory provision, on the record, and allowed the State additional time to prepare and present a comparability case in terms of "overall compensation of other employees performing similar services."
13. Similarly, in Teamsters Local #670 v. Yamhill County (Lankford, 1997) I held that the differential in PERS rates paid by different public employers in Oregon could not automatically be factored in as differences in compensation received by those employees-since those different employer rates have no effect on the eventual retirement benefits of those employees-but that PERS "pick-up," if paid by an employer, was part of the employee's compensation.
14. The Department suggests that "[a]rbitrator Bethke approved an initial comparison based upon a simple average of the four states" citing this comment in Mr. Bethke's discussion (at 12):
First, a simple average of the four states is an appropriate initial basis for comparison, though it obviously risks distortion if any of the four states is an outlier. * * * A more precise way of accounting for possible distortion in the simple average is to compare by ranking the five states, with the expectation that Oregon will rank above Idaho, Nevada and Washington, but below California.
15. I put "average" in quotation marks, because it seems to me that the Department uses that term in a very questionable way. According to its own numbers, OSP's adjusted compensation ($29.90) is just about an exact tie with Washington ($29.79) and Nevada ($29.37); so on the basis of $39.44 for the 5,400 California troopers and $22.26 for the 125 in Idaho, the Department argues (Post Hearing Brief at 31) that "At 10 ... years, Oregon is 102% of average." The Department's Post Hearing Brief argues eloquently that the comparables do not comprise a real "labor market" and that a "weighted average" (which would reflect the 5,400:125 ratio of the California and Idaho forces) is inappropriate. Without giving that issue the many pages of discussion it cries out for, I must at least point out that to add $39.44 and $22.26, divide by two, and declare that the "average trooper salary in California and Idaho is $30.85" is to use the term "average" in a very abstract and misleading sense. It is, in fact, the average of the adjusted pay scales; whereas what the statute requires us to compare is "overall compensation of other employees."
16. The Department proposed "eleven jurisdictions representing every geographic region of the State" to Arbitrator Bethke in 1996. OSP also proposed "Oregon cities and counties and with certain other in-state organizations" (at 40) to arbitrator Jack Calhoun in 1993.
17. The ultimate result in the case at hand does not depend on consideration of any but the four contiguous states which the parties agree to be the primary comparators.
18. Under the prior version of the statute, it was not uncommon for parties to spend hearing time and expense in marching parades of expert witnesses up to the venerable tar-baby of cost of living components. The Legislature's choice of one single index, it seems to me, requires an interest arbitrator to eliminate-or at least minimize-such battles in favor of the current statute's limitation of the relevant factors to that one, specified BLS index. Moreover, the cost of living battles, under the prior language, commonly included disputes over "bias" in various components of the BLS numbers, such as housing costs, all of which used to fit quite well within the statutory term "average consumer prices for goods and services." On the face of the current statutory language, however, an interest arbitrator is now required to take a leaner, meaner approach to the overall issue-the choice of one or the other package-and to consider (through both the front and back doors of the process) only the overall All-Cities CPI Index. In short, the statute presumably means just what it says on its face in this regard.
19. The Department presented similarly "leveled data" to arbitrator Bethke, and he explained (at 12) that they "are derived from standardized publications and attempt to correct for variations in local cost of living."
20. I did look at that data as a check, and I find that the overall result in this case would not be different if the "leveled" numbers were considered too. It is also worth noting that the "leveled" data would not be entitled to much weight even without the statutory issue, because none of the State's witnesses managed to offer a convincing explanation of what sorts of considerations had been adjusted for in producing the formulae which yielded those data. The Senior Compensation Analyst for DAS testified that she used "leveled" numbers only as "secondary" data, and that she did not know or care whether the "leveling" involved cost of living factors.
21. Consider, for example, the State's analysis of total compensation of a California trooper (Exhibit EE40, pages 2 & 3), and consider only the part that allegedly reflects the adjustment of base pay for "vacations, holidays and other excused time." Using "AH" for annual hours and $B by hourly base pay (using the factors relevant for California, and leaving out incentive pay for the sake of simplicity), the formula used by the State to adjust for vacations and hours of leave then adds (quoting exhibit E-E-40, pages 2-3):
"Sick leave hourly value," defined as "sick leave hours [(let that be SH)] divided by annual hours [(AH)] times base pay [($BP)]" plus "Holiday and other leave hourly value," defined as "holiday and other leave hours [(let that be HH)] over annual hours [(AH)] times base pay ($BP)" plus "Work hour rate," defined as "annual hours (AH) minus the sum of... sick leave [(SH)] and holiday and other leave hours (HH)" all "divided by annual hours [(AH)] and multiplied by base [($BP)]." Thus Base Rate adjusted for leaves = Sick leave hourly value + Holiday hourly value + work hour rate.
Making the substitutions set out in the definitions produces this formula for the adjusted base rate: (SH/AH x $B) + (HH/AH x $B) + (AH - (SH + HH)/AH x $B)
But that reduces to (SH + HH) x $B/AH + (AH-SH-HH) x $B/AH = (SH + HH + AH - SH - HH) x $B/AH = AH x $B/AH = $B
Thus all the corrections for hours of leave drop out, and we are left with base pay.
22. I certainly do not suggest that this is the only way to make this adjustment or even that it is clearly the best way. It is simply a fairly simple way to do it, given the other data set out in the Department's exhibits.
23. OSP generally favors comparison at the ten-year point, arguing that it is easier to compare maximum to maximum. For recruitment purposes, however, the five year point seems likely to be more significant; and at five years the numbers are substantially less attractive for OSP. None of the interest arbitrators who has previously considered this unit has been willing to ignore the five year mark, and neither am I.
24. The Association notes (Post Hearing Brief at 58) that "virtually every mid to large police agency in the Willamette Valley and the State of Oregon offers an incentive based on DPSST certificates..." Apart from the total compensation and potential retention consequences of that fact, however, it does not appear to fit within any of the considerations set out in the statute. It is, alas, an "other factor" and therefore beyond the scope of my proper concern.
25. The picture gets much worse when viewed through the Association's numbers, which show, at the five year point, including existing education incentives, OSP is a shocking 48% behind California, 21% behind Washington, and almost 10% behind Nevada. The Association's data offers an interesting treatment of insurance premium costs. The Association argues that there is no readily calculable relationship between cost and benefit of insurance coverage (particularly over a multi-state range), so the Association assumes that the benefits of the full family plans are equal, and the only remaining compensation difference is the out-of-pocket costs of that coverage.
26. The Department cites a variety of Legislative budget process documents. It should be noted, I suppose, that the Legislature is not "the governing body" as that term is used in subsection (b) of the interest arbitration statute.
27. Officers occasionally transfer in from other police agencies, but they must still complete the OSP training program. The sworn workforce now includes lateral transfers from the Washington and Alaska State Police, Prineville, Brookings, Roseburg, Hood River, Jefferson County and the Oregon Forest Service.
28. Unfortunately, there is no evidence in the record to support that claim, and the fact alleged is not so notorious that I can reasonably take notice of it.
29. The "approximately $200,000" comes from the Department's Post Hearing Brief. The Department's exhibits show a bit greater difference-about $247K-but it appears that that number may be based on positions, rather than actual employees. (See footnote number 1, above, for an approximation of the difference.) The Association, too, costs the difference at about $247K.
30. It is not altogether easy to calculate the State's current major litigation liability. For example, SB750 eliminated the overtime exemption for management employees; and Young v. State, the resulting class action suit, established the State's resulting liability (the appeal period having run) but has not yet determined the size and identity of the class. That suit therefore will cost the State somewhere between about $4.5M and $67.4M.
31. A part of this proposal would, in effect, reverse a grievance arbitration which the State won when the arbitrator substantially restricted the application of the prior language. The Association points out that the State's current proposed definition would still exclude the black powder and smokeless powder, both of which are quite dangerous.
32. The maximum percentage seems to be around 20%, although none of the Department's data on this issue includes training time.. This is not to suggest that either the work itself or the volume of the work is trivial. Oregon was tenth in the most recent national records of "recoveries of improvised devices."
33. The State disputes the claim that OSP employees and ODOT employees are truly equivalent. On the record before me it is pretty clear that they are "other employees performing similar services" in the same community.
34. There are over 620 such employees in California and almost 95 in Washington, compared to just over 50 in Oregon and just over 50 in Idaho and Nevada combined The record includes the prior employer of the 70 Telecommunicators. Two came from Washington, one from Idaho, and one from California. If comparability analysis were intended to reflect a traditional labor market for such employees, no consideration of outside states would be appropriate. The market competition for such employees is clearly local, but the statute explicitly requires that "'comparable' includes comparison to other states."
35. BPSST also issues Intermediate and Advanced certificates for these employees, so they will be eligible for the certification incentives proposed by the Association.
36. It is peculiar that the Department's Post Hearing Brief (at 24) characterizes the proposal as "a recruitment incentive, not a retention bonus" when there were 26 departures of 84 positions in two years. Over 15% per year turnover in such highly skilled employees is extremely troublesome.
37. Arbitrator Bethke noted in 1996 (at 19) that his satisfaction with the Department's recruitment and retention record was tempered by concern for the "substantially increased retirement...expected in the relatively near future."
38. Arbitrator Bethke found (at 22), in 1996, that the comparability "ranking runs California-Oregon-Washington-Nevada-Idaho, or precisely as one would desire." In the present case, on the contrary, Oregon trails Washington substantially at five years, and at ten years Oregon is slightly behind Washington and in a virtual tie with Nevada.