Posted by: Jennifer Foley Posted date: June 22, 2015
¬- By Jennifer Foley, POJ Editor
Huntington Woods Public Safety Department is small, but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same representation their larger counterparts receive.
POLC is providing Huntington Woods with that attention. The 11-member unit voted unanimously in February 2015 to join the POLC after 22 years with the Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM).
“I think that we’ve had a long-standing relationship with POAM and over the last decade there was a change in attitude about public safety and union contracts,” said Huntington Woods Public Safety Officer Erick Stiner, local union President. “POAM needed to interact a little more closely than it was. The attention to detail that we were seeking within our own unit was not met. We’re expressing that idea to POLC and they’re assuring us they will be active.”
The group noticed POLC handles several area public safety contracts. “POLC seemed to have a better track record,” said Stiner, who has served as President the past 14 years. “An 11-member unit is not on most people’s radar. As far as me being head of the union, it is the most important part of my career,” he said, also crediting Todd Tyler, union Vice President and Secretary Joe Ajlouny.
An added bonus is POLC’s dues are lower than POAM’s and POLC Research Analyst Nancy Ciccone’s skills really wowed the group. “Her historical research has just been stellar,” Stiner said. “Now that we have her as a research analyst, if she said something is not financially sound we would have a little more confidence that it was researched to the full degree.”
Negotiations for a new contract are underway with the current agreement expiring June 30, 2015. POLC Labor Rep. Chester Kulesza is assisting the group, which desires a four-year contract with a pay increase, equalizing vacation time, a uniform allowance increase, and a consistent promotional process.
“We’ve taken a pay cut to help the city out in their time of need and now it’s time to pay that back,” Stiner said. “We’re asking the City to step in and recognize our sacrifice.”
The group has a high degree of training and continuous education with national accreditation. “We’ve been public safety since 1929. We’re the oldest public safety in the area,” Stiner said. “Residents live here for a reason. It’s a safe community and the residents expect a level of service that we expect to give them.”