Tuesday Jul 07 2009
Auburn police drop lawsuit against city
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
Agreement reached regarding officer shift bidding
The Auburn Police Officers Association has dropped its lawsuit against the city. In an announcement released Tuesday, the association’s representative said members were pleased that an agreement was reached allowing officers to maintain their shift bidding practices. The lawsuit was filed May 7 after police officers’ schedules were unilaterally changed without consent from or negotiating in good faith with the union, according to the Association’s attorney David Mastagni. City manager Bob Richardson responded on behalf of the city in a prepared statement. “The only agreement executed by the city of Auburn resulted in no changes to the department’s current, past or future practices regarding shift seniority bidding for schedules,” Richardson said. “Should the APOA believe differently they may wish to consult with their legal representatives.” In a prior Journal report, City Attorney Michael Colantuono said the city denied the allegations of the complaint and maintained that there was never an established policy allowing seniority shift bidding. Tuesday, Mastagni said the agreement, effective July 3, uses a patrol shift rotation based on seniority bidding. He said because the shift bidding system was consistent with past practices, the association dropped the lawsuit. Mastagni said both sides will pay their own legal costs. “The union is satisfied in that they were able to continue the practice of bidding based on seniority and allowing people to bid for schedules that accommodate their personal lives and circumstances,” Mastagni said. In a prepared statement, association president Stan Hamelin said the resolution endures a “fair scheduling system.” He said the shift bidding system allows officers to bid on shifts that accommodate their personal obligations including child care, off-duty school schedules and religious beliefs. “The association appreciates the efforts of all parties in reaching an amicable resolution,” Hamelin said. The Journal’s Jenifer Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment.