Decision Points

City Council to respond to Police Association petition for 'Meet and Confer' status

The Round Rock Police Association submitted a petition to the City on June 9 requesting recognition of the Association as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all the police officers of the City of Round Rock.

The petition was discussed at the June 24 City Council meeting, and included an overview of the “Meet and Confer” law (PDF) by City Manager Jim Nuse, remarks by RRPA President John Rowe and a question-and-answer session with the City Council.

The City Council has three options for responding to the petition:

  1. Grant recognition of the association as requested in the petition by a majority vote of the Council
  2. Defer granting recognition of the association and order an election by the voters in the City limits
  3. Order a certification election to determine whether the association represents a majority of the affected police officers.

 The City Council is scheduled to act on the petition at its July 8 meeting.

Comments

Sue T said:

I attended the City Counsel meeting where the      "Meet and Confer" proposal from the POA was discussed. The counsel members seemed to bemoan the fact that they've gone w/o an agreement for 24 years and why did they need one now? The old "If it ain't broke why fix it" mentality. Lets put the rules of negotiations in writing. I don't think this is asking too much. It's like being engaged for 24 years and now its time to get married. The rules of the relationship need to be written down on paper so everyone knows what they are.

Additionally, I was appalled when I heard that the men and women of the RRPD don't have long term disability. They put their lives on the line for us everyday, I can't believe they don't already have this benefit. It is my belief that it takes a special calling to become a peace officer. Not everyone is cut out for the job, not everyone wants to put their life on the line everyday. These folks have that calling and they absolutely put their lives on the line each time they put on their uniforms. They deserve long term disability insurance. Would the city just walk away from an officer if (God forbid) they were permanently injured in the line of duty?

I am a proud citizen of Round Rock since the mid 70's, I feel very safe here. The results of RRPD's excellent work is that we live in one of the safest cities in all of Texas.  Its time to "man up", City Counsel, and grant the POA's petition for Meet and Confer. It's way past time.  

# June 27, 2010 6:45 PM

John R. Wynn said:

While listening to the Council speak with the POA President it struck me that currently the City has a employment relationship with each individual Officer.  If Meet and Confer is adopted the the relationship will change to the City and the POA.  The POA President kept saying that having Meet and Confer will not change anything.  If that is true then why does the POA want this so badly.  I feel that if the Council agrees to Meet and confer then it is the first step to Civil Service, Unions and everything that the City of Austin has.  Look what it has gotten them in return.  Police, Fire and EMS make up more than 70% of the City budget and a $30 million budegt shortfall.

# June 29, 2010 1:00 PM

Dina said:

The City Council should grant recognition of the POA.  The only thing at stake is the ability to simplify and record the communications about the safety and security of our community.  I have been a resident of Round Rock for over 20 years and have enjoyed a high quality of life here based on the ongoing actions of the City Council and the RRPD.  This agreement seeks two changes- to make communication between the City and RRPD easier by creating a formal liaison infrastructure and recording those agreements; having agreements written cannot be a bad thing for either side.  As our community continues to grow it is imperative we establish communication protocols among city agencies; our location on the IH-35 corridor and part of the evacuation route point to the need for the City and the Police to have formalized communication protocols.  I want to thank both the City Council and the RRPD - you are hard working individuals that have made Round Rock a wonderful place to live and work.  Please vote to keep positive communications that honor the work of all parties.

# July 1, 2010 9:16 PM

DB1012 said:

I have had the opportunity to work for the RRPD for 13 years and during that time have been active in the board for the Association and completely support the Meet and Confer proposition.  Having been involved in the board for 7 years, I have personal experience with the need to formalize the "negotiations" between the board and the City.  This is not saying anything bad about the City, but there have been times where certain things were agreed upon and did not come through.  Formalizing this process with a document committing each party to the agreement makes it completely fair.  Additionally, meet and confer is COMPLETELY permissive.  If the City doesn't want to talk about something, we don't talk about it.  However if both sides can agree, why would you not want to put it in writing and commit both sides to the agreement.  There is no hidden agenda on the POA's behalf, it is simply formalizing what we already do.  I believe the City is hesitant to commit to the process is because they have not yet studied it enough to feel comfortable with it, simply the fear of the unknown.  The good relationship will simply be enhanced by the formalized communication.  

# July 5, 2010 6:07 PM
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