Posted by: Jennifer Foley Posted date: July 24, 2015
— By Jennifer Foley, POJ Editor
Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Officers (PSOs) returned to the Police Officers Labor Council (POLC) after a three-year hiatus while they were represented by Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM).
“We went from POLC to POAM because we felt the grass would be greener on the other side. Upon doing so we found that was not the case and our group would be better represented by POLC,” said Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Officer Chris Furlong, the local unit Vice President. “We felt that we’d get more attentive representation from POLC than other unions. When we called POLC, we were called back. Our issues are taken seriously no matter how small or large. They treated us with the same attentiveness and respect as some of your larger units and that’s important to us.”
The 16-member group voted unanimously in favor of the move to POLC in March. The POLC represented Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Officers for 10 years prior to the recent switch.
Furlong said the PSOs wanted to be with the same union as their Command officers. Bloomfield Hills Dispatch also made the switch to POLC for the same reason. “We like the proven track record of POLC and we liked that we would be aligned with the same unit as the Command unit … so that we can better negotiate with the department as a whole,” Furlong said.
The POAM waived election with the understanding they would continue to receive dues until July 1, but their new POLC Labor Rep. Rob Figurski has been busy working for them since March.
“Ever since we met with Rob and (POLC Director) Rich (Weiler) over the winter when we were exploring our options, their attention to detail and professionalism and the ability of getting contact with them and taking the time to listen to us is just vital,” Furlong said.
“We had a slight disciplinary issue and Rob Figurski took that complaint seriously, and unsolicited he stopped by the station, returned phone calls, initiated contact, which is the exact reason we switched to POLC,” Furlong said. “A lot of times a small issue here wouldn’t even be an issue in a larger department. Rob went above and beyond with the minor disciplinary thing.”
“It’s just part of the job we do for them,” Figurski said.