Judge again rules against police union injunction

Toledo Police union will go back to the drawing board in their fight to curb concessions being asked of them by Toledo Mayor Mike Bell.

A judge, on Monday, once again ruled that labor issues between the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association and the City of Toledo should be handled by the state. Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge James Jensen decided in late March to deny the union's request for an injunction to stop the cuts proposed by the city.

The TPPA filed the grievance after Toledo City Council declared exigent circumstances, allowing Mayor Bell to force concessions from union members in order to balance the city's budget. Judge Jensen has since acknowledged the issue as an unfair labor practice on the part of the city, one that must be handled by the State Employment Relations Board (SERB). The union says they plan on filing an unfair labor practice complaint with the state.

According to TPPA spokesman Rick Wise, the union offered the city $2.68 million in concessions, feeling they had met Mayor Bell's demands. However, Mayor Bell requested more from the union members in the form of allowing this year's severance payments to be paid out over a three-year period. The TPPA turned down that offer, refusing to take it to members for a vote.

In a statement responding to the court's ruling Monday, the Mayor's office said, "We still need to maintain the ability to pay our officers and to keep the staffing levels of the force in tact to meet our budget challenges while ensuring the safety of our city."

The City of Toledo has sucessfully reached concessions agreements with the city's firefighters union Local 92, and is close to an agreement with members of AFSCME Local 7, pending a member vote.