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March 1, 2015

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NLV police supervisors union sues over layoffs

Police layoffs

KSNV coverage of North Las Vegas Police Department layoffs, June 15, 2011.

The North Las Vegas Police Supervisors Association filed a civil lawsuit against the city on Wednesday, alleging a breach of a bargaining agreement that union leaders argue protects its members’ pay and positions.

In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning in the Clark County District Court, the union claimed the North Las Vegas City Council violated a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Police Officers Association Union.

The tentative agreement protected police officer union positions until June 2012 in exchange for about $8 million in concessions, such as increased employee retirement contributions and deferred holiday payouts, cost of living increases, sick leave sell-backs and clothing allowances.

In the lawsuit, the police supervisors union alleges that while it split from the police officers union in November 2010, city officials promised to apply the terms of the bargaining agreement to the newly formed and city-recognized union.

The lawsuit points to a September 2010 letter from city officials in which the city said it intended “to apply the terms of the existing collective bargaining agreement to any newly established employee organization until at least such time as the City and the new bargaining agent can negotiate a new agreement.”

The city, however, approved its fiscal 2012 budget on May 17 that outlined 83 police department layoffs, including five police supervisor union positions, to plug a $30 million budget shortfall. The city confirmed Wednesday that pink slips would be sent out starting next week.

“It’s a little beyond frustration,” said union President Leonard Cardinale. “Our supervisors have children, some have children on the way, and they are concerned about their jobs, their bills and supporting their families.”

The police supervisors union sat down with the city last week to negotiate further concessions to save positions slated for elimination, but they were not able to reach an agreement, Cardinale said. The union is still open to negotiations, he said.

“It’s probably a mistake to lay off more police, more corrections officers, more police supervisors,” he said. “The city does have a rise in crime in certain areas, and it’s going to get a whole lot worse. The safety of the public is No. 1 in our minds and I think the layoffs would only inhibit our ability to keep the public safe.”

In the lawsuit, the union requested damages in excess of $10,000, restoration of benefits and compensation under the tentative agreement and attorney’s fees.

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  1. "The city does have a rise in crime in certain areas"

    Let's just give those areas back to Clark county. Problem solved!

  2. Unions don't belong in the public center. All Las Vegans are feeling the pinch right now. I think we all agree that the unions for a time were exempt from reccession.

    Well now join the club.

  3. Mr. Common Sense says;

    "I think we all agree that the unions for a time were exempt from reccession."

    Justin, I am purdy sure we all do not agree, sir.
    There have been SEVERAL ROUNDS of cuts and pay concessions and job losses and benefit reductions in the "public center".
    Public employees are being used like ATM's to balance a budget over which they have no control.

    "Unions don't belong in the public center."

    I a purdy ure we all do not agree on that, either.

    Why is it that you Anti-Unionista's are adamantly opposed to your friends and neighbors having collective bargaining rights? What in the world makes you think that, just because it's "public", that American citizens should be denied the same rights in the public sector as in the private sector? Certain PROTECTIONS are NECESSARY no matter where the employment is. The SAME PROBLEMS and potential ABUSES are inherent in the public sector just the same as they exist in the private sector.
    Just because the PAY comes out of TAXES, you feel you can SCREW the public employee, right? And that that is okay, right? Because it's YOUR "tax money", right?
    And you think it's HONORABLE to break contracts and commitments, like the one described in this particular story, right?

  4. gmag39, we don't believe in PUBLIC unions. Private sector unions are different. Public unions are strife for fraud and corruption.....which is exactly what is happening in most public unions today across the country.

    It's only now being exposed due to the economic conditions we are all facing.

  5. Thomas....
    NOOOO, what is happening "in most public unions today across the country" is outright theivery & downright dishonesty by those that signed off on contracts & made agreements they are no longer feeling "obligated" to honor, despite their legal standing, because they say they're "broke", and can't afford to honor them...what they REALLY MEAN?
    "This is a GREAT time to do some Union Busting! Let's get rid of those pesky unions! That way, we can FIRE PEOPLE AT WILL, CUT THEIR WAGES AND BENEFITS, AND GENERALLY MAKE THEIR LIVES MISERABLE without any potential ramifications!"

    In County of Clark, the Firefighter's have become the Poster Children for ALL PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, with the general public lumping all public employees into the same mold, when the facts show otherwise.
    Here's an idear...
    Why not lay your anger & dissatisfaction on the people from the OTHER SIDE that negotiated and signed off on contracts that you are unhappy with.

  6. gmag, the problem with collective bargaining in public unions is that the unions are literally bargaining, the taxpayers who are paying for their salaries and benefits. For example, the police officer who might live next door is essentially battling me and other neighbors for his "rights".

    Collective bargaining in public unions pit citizen against citizen, and that's not right.

    Collective bargaining is fine in private businesses, then they are battling the owners and management of the company, not neighbor vs. neighbor.

  7. 1-true-taxpayer, I blame the politicians just as much as the unions. They did sign off on it.

    What it has become is a circle of funds from unions to democrats who get re-elected then right back to the unions when the democrats give them what they want in their union contracts. How does this cycle help the general public? It doesn't, it screws us financially.

    The bottom line is the benefits and retirement plans are unsustainable. Something has to be done.

    I'm open to suggestions.

  8. The union needs to take some blame since rather than accept cuts to overtime the officers chose to accept layoffs.

    Long term it is better for NLV to retain the firefighters and police officers rather than layoff. In a couple years they'll need those positions again and by then they'll have to pay to retrain all new people. Both sides aren't doing the best they can in this situation.