Mayor Rebecca Casper has scheduled a presentation to the City Council by the Idaho Falls Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) on July 10.
In a letter received by Mayor Casper on June 25 from the Idaho Falls FOP Lodge #6, the organization’s executive board formally requested time to make a presentation to the City Council in an effort to seek recognition as a collective bargaining unit, also known as a union.
“One of my key responsibilities is to ensure that the City Council receives sufficient information to make highly informed decisions,” states Mayor Casper. “Over the next several weeks, I hope the City Council, department personnel, members of the public and other interested parties will have an opportunity to have a dialogue about the merits of the proposal,” she continued.
The Human Resources Department will then provide the Council with information on the employee personnel manual and existing employee rights at a meeting on August 7.
“These work sessions are intended to be a time for active listening on the part of the Council and a time for information gathering,” explains Mayor. Additional presentations regarding collective bargaining are planned for later in the fall.
Idaho Code specifies the right to bargain collectively is exclusively granted to firefighters and teachers. If other public employee groups wish to negotiate formally, they must be officially recognized by the governing body as a collective bargaining unit. Common issues negotiated by labor unions are wages, benefits and working conditions.
“These meetings are the first steps toward what I hope will be a robust and civil conversation about the ongoing departmental needs of our police force,” says Mayor Casper. “I also feel it is important to allow the incoming chief of police the opportunity to review policies and practices, hear employee concerns, and draw from his insight and expertise regarding the best way to address management issues facing the department in the coming years.”
Dates and times for regular City Council meetings and work sessions are listed in the Agenda Center on the city’s website. Community members can also sign up to receive automatic notification of all City Council meetings by clicking the “Notify Me” button on the website.
Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.