Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: June 20, 2016
— By Jennifer Foley, POJ Editor
Holly part-time Police Officers will now have the same representation as their full-time counterparts who have been with the Police Officers Labor Council (POLC) for well over a decade. The part-time group joined the POLC in February to have a say in what they earn and seek some benefits.
“We’ve represented the full-time people there for years,” said Lloyd Whetstone, POLC Membership Services. “It’s just that the part-timers were all non-union. We were successful in getting the part-timers unionized. They will be in same contract as patrol.”
POLC Labor Rep. Hal Telling said the part-time staff doesn’t have any benefits. “They were interested in someone representing them for their hourly wage and their personal time off because a lot of them do work 32 hours per week,” Telling said.
With six full-time employees and four part-timers, most of whom work 32 hours a week, (and another part-timer expected to be hired soon), Holly Patrol Officer and local union steward William Hoffmann said it was time to unite all Officers in negotiations. “Everybody will then be covered and nobody will feel like they’re left out dangling by themselves and it will hopefully make it a more lucrative place to look at for employment,” Hoffmann said.
“Right now it’s in the contract that part-time employees can work 128 hours in a calendar month (per employee),” Hoffmann said. “They have not been replacing our full-time Officers as they retired or left, so they’re pretty much at their maximum right now because part-time can’t exceed full-time per the contract. They’ve consistently kept the part-time staff almost to full-time levels for quite a few years now. Just within the last year we’ve lost three full-time people and they’ve only replaced one.”
The part-timers are paid a lot less an hour than the full-time employees. “Right now their pay is only a fraction of what a full-time person makes and that coupled with no benefits. It’s just not fair to them,” Hoffmann said. “They have no sick, no medical, no personal, absolutely nothing. They get their straight wages and that’s it.”
“We have a scale for wages. (Part-time Officers) do not,” Hoffmann said. “It’s a flat rate — that’s pretty much where it stays at unless the Village administration authorizes some sort of wage increase. Back when I started in 2000, the starting wage for them was $9 an hour and it’s gone up significantly to around $15. Even despite that, they still don’t make what a Tier 1 (full-time) employee would make for their first probationary year.”
The POLC contract for full-time Officers expires June 30, 2016. “We’ll probably sit down and negotiate wages and benefits for part-timers at the same time,” Telling said. “They will all be included in the same contract.”
Part-time employees are concerned about protections during disciplinary action and acquiring some sick, personal and vacation time. “Some of these guys are scheduled to work a permanent shift. For them to call in right now or take a day off, they just don’t get paid anything,” Hoffmann said. “Being at-will employees, as we all know, there really doesn’t have to be much rhyme or reason for them to be let go. Considering what they do, the efforts they put forth, I don’t think it’s fair to them.”