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Clay Township leaves POAM after decades of representation

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: April 5, 2017

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Clay Township Police had been with the POAM since they became unionized decades ago, but after recent years of officer complaints they asked the Police Officers Labor Council (POLC) to show them what they could offer.

“I don’t think the guys felt like they were being represented,” said Clay Township Patrolman Paul Smith, local union alternate. “I think that might have been their only union since they were established in 1969.”

“They weren’t being kept involved,” POLC Labor Rep. Scott Blackwell said of local union members. “We just don’t work like that, we never have.”

Smith said they polled local union members and they wanted to see what their options were.

“We hired some officers that had POLC as their union at their old department and they were pretty happy with the POLC there,” Smith said. “We also asked POAM to send a rep. They said ‘please stay with us’ and nearly everyone voted for POLC.”

The 10-member group voted in POLC in April 2016 and their POAM contract expired June 30, 2016. Since Clay Township Dispatch was already a POLC unit and their contract also expired June 30, Blackwell has been working on negotiating new contracts for both groups.

“We are diligently working toward a successful resolution of their contract,” Blackwell said. “We are trying to resolve a complicated pension issue. The union is proactively trying to get back to the table and we’re taking steps to facilitate that.”

“The officers were pretty excited to make the change and they’re pretty happy with POLC thus far,” Smith said.

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