I wrote an open letter to Baltimore City Council Bernard C. “Jack” Young and sent it today to all members of the Baltimore City Council. My letter was in response to the letter sent by Council President Young to the editor of the Baltimore Sun criticizing Lt. Gene Ryan, president of Lodge No. 3 of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). [“Union deserves some blame for crime spike,” The Baltimore Sun, June 28, 2017.]
Council President Young’s letter criticized Lt. Ryan for, among other things, not being sufficiently accommodating to the city’s desire to abandon the four day a week (4×10) shift schedule instituted by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) in January of 2015. The change to the 4×10 was the brainchild of former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and at the city’s request it was mandated in the collective bargaining agreements negotiated with the FOP in 2014.
Suffice it to say that 4×10 scheduling has not worked out as intended and the city now wants it out of the collective bargaining agreements. Although the public is not privy to the ongoing negotiations between the city and FOP it appears that the union is holding out to get something from the city in return for agreeing to the change back to the five day a week (5×8) schedules – no big surprise there. It is what unions do.
My problem is this: It is easy for Council President Young to bash Lt. Ryan but the fact remains that the city council (and its president) bear a good share of the blame for the fact that city is in the position of bargaining over issues having to do with the management of the BPD that should not be the subject of collective bargaining. It is an issue that I have been pressing for over two years, and by now I have concluded that the members of the city council, whatever their rhetoric may be, are loath to take on the FOP over control of the BPD.
My letter to Council President Young points out two instances in which the council has failed to assert itself when it could have done so regarding the FOP and the BPD. Here is the link to the letter: Ltr Jack Young 6 29 17
June 29, 2017