Civilians To Stay In Police Jobs

Posted: July 19, 1988

Nearly a dozen civilian supervisors in the Police Department's radio room will remain in their jobs while the city appeals a state ruling that uniformed supervisors were unfairly replaced by the civilians last October.

The creation of supervisory positions for civilians in the radio room was done at the behest of the blue-collar municipal union, but the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board ruled July 1 that the city should have bargained with the police union even before making the transfers.

The so-called "civilianization" of the Police Department has been long sought by the city controller's office as a cost-saving measure. It was also recommended in a 1987 report by a blue-ribbon task force that studied problems in the Police Department.

"Civilianization makes sense from an economic and manpower utilization perspective," according to Chief Deputy City Solicitor Ralph Teti. "We just think the labor board is wrong."

Lodge 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police charged the city with unfair labor practices after about 10 uniformed supervisors, mostly corporals, were transferred from the radio room to other positions within the department.

The FOP said the city had not bargained with the police union over the matter. The city, however, had promised District Council 33 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees during 1986 contract negotiations to promote civilians to supervisory positions. DC33 represents about 13,000 city blue-collar workers.

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