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Pinckney Village Patrol joins POLC for lasting change

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: August 30, 2019

– By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Pinckney Village Police Department has been more of a stepping stone for officers who have historically moved on to other departments. POLC Labor Rep. Duane Smith hopes to change that.

“It’s one of those places that people leave, so my job is to make it enticing enough that they want to stay,” Smith said.

The smaller paycheck that comes with working for a small department deters Village of Pinckney Patrol Officers from making a long-term commitment to the community.

“It’s kind of a short-term department. They’re very lowly paid for police,” Smith said.

Pinckney Village Patrol Officers voted to join the POLC at the end of April 2019 to change that. “Everybody was on board,” said Local Union President Chris Doolan.

Doolan said their unit chose POLC to represent them based on its positive reputation compared to some of the negative comments they’ve heard about POAM. “POLC represents Hamburg Township (Patrol and Command) and that’s really why we chose them,” she said. “We’re right next to them. We back them up. They back us up. The POLC Rep. got Hamburg a higher percentage than usual, which bumped their pay up to where it should be.”

Formerly represented by Michigan Association of Police (MAP), Pinckney Patrol’s contract expired June 30, 2019. Smith said he will focus on wage increases in contract negotiations. Pinckney Patrol received reasonable wage increases in their MAP contract, Smith said, “But they are so underpaid they need a big adjustment to get where they need to be.”

“They have full paid healthcare. They have a MERS pension. That’s pretty decent, except nobody’s ever retired from there before,” Smith said.

Doolan said they also have concerns about overtime compensation with their 12-hour shift work and a lack of bereavement pay. “There is some clause that says they don’t have to pay us overtime until 85-1/2 hours,” Doolan said. “If I work 13 hours, I am not getting overtime until I work beyond 13.5 hours that day. If we go in for traffic court or trial, you’re automatically guaranteed two hours of pay, but that two hours will only result in a half hour of overtime. This week I worked 17 hours yesterday and 14 hours this morning and I’m only getting 5-1/2 hours of overtime for working 31 hours in a 48-hour period.”

Doolan feels confident going into negotiations. “I’m impressed so far. The contact is important to me and (POLC Membership Services) Lloyd (Whetstone) and Duane have both been very responsive in reaching out to me,” she said.

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