Friday, January 4, 2013

Is A Brouhaha Brewing Between Tucson and Its Police Union?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 12:10 PM

The relationship between a union and the management of the employees it represents is never a harmonious one. Doesn't matter the industry or organization, unions and employers are as pre-destined to bicker and squabble as are Foghorn Leghorn and the chicken hawk.

But I say, I, I say, I don't reckon Foghorn has taken to Facebook to toss out little bon mots of angst and discontent. And because of that, we're not blogging about that rascally rooster and his arch nemesis.

We're instead talking about the Tucson Police Officer's Association, which describes itself on Facebook as the "professional bargaining unit" for Tucson cops.

I'm no expert in negotiation — except when it comes to trying to convince a slowly dwindling field of poker players it's better to chop up the prize pool now than risk getting nothing — but I wonder what TPOA's motivation was for this:


Aside from the fact it is publicizing that a nearby, competing police department is hiring, it's noting that current TPD officers would be wise to bolt from the city for greener pastures elsewhere.

However, if one compares the compensation schedules for Tucson and Marana, TPOA's claim that Tucson doesn't pay well enough to retain officers appears false. The starting hourly rate for TPD officers is $22.10, while Marana's is $20.39. The maximum hourly rate in Tucson is $29.61, in Marana it's $28.69.

So, less is more?

True, most Tucson employees (police or not) have gotten but one 1-percent raise in the past several years, while Marana and other nearby municipalities have been a little more generous with their pay bumps. But to contend that the city's pay scale is making its police department a breeding ground for other agencies seems unfounded, at least locally.

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