A Closer Look at 12 Hours
Now that everyone has had their say in the previous entry, let's step back and look at a few of the nuggets that we've gleaned.
First up, FOP has NOT said they won't look at anything. Here's Donahue's quote since it seems a number of people are making up quotes again to further a political agenda:
Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue said the union is open to discussing it, with some reservation. In 2004, the department experimented with a 10-hour shift.
"Twelve hours in a beat car in Chicago -- in most areas of the city -- is a very long work day. It has worked in other areas of the country. But it's something that has to be analyzed," said Donahue, who is pushing for a fixed schedule of six-days-on and three-days-off in contract talks with the city.
- P-Days and BFD's - The City is not going to give you 4 Personal Days and 3,4,5 or 6 BFD's under a 12 hour schedule. They are going to demand concessions. They did the same thing under the 10 hour day proposal that didn't pass. The City wanted people to give up one P-Day and more than one BFD.
- Furloughs - 20 straight days or 24 working days? Gone. The City is going to demand everyone go down to 12 vacation days or less with increases only for service time. It's been proposed before. The City will recycle this idea.
- Federal Labor Law - We aren't experts on Labor Law, but we're pretty sure that there are certain rules that must be followed for a 12 hour day, namely a second lunch or a third personal. Will this be considered "unpaid" as lunch always has in the past? And if so, are they going to try to stick it in everyone's asses by checking off 30 minutes past the hour? That's 30 minutes out of your already shortened down time if you aren't on your Friday. Also, FLSA will come into play.
- Overtime and Court - Late pinch or morning in court after a 12 hour day. Truckers are under certain restrictions for driving extended period of time. We spend a large percentage of our time behind the wheel AND we carry a gun. Truckers can fudge log books and use uppers to stay alert - we have sugar and caffeine. What is our liability and the City's if a sleepy cop makes a bad decision?
- Start times - Multiple start times? You can't have all the cars down while we switch over. So if it's 6am to 6pm or 8am to 8pm, that will be three straight days you don't see your kids if you have them. Three straight days without seeing the spouse might be appealing to some cops, but not all.
- Duty Availability and Uniform Allowances - If you don't think there isn't a bean counter in the basement of City Hall figuring out how much less wear and tear there will be on your uniforms or how much less you'll actually be "available" due to Federal Labor Laws restricting how many hours you can actually be on call, think again. In December there was an aldercreature looking to cut Duty Availability because we weren't technically "available" in an emergency.
- Let's just say we agree that the sixth day sucks ass. And please, call it "the sixth day." People who say "six day work week" are blurring the issue and confusing readers. We work five days a week but six days in a row. If we didn't, only certain people would ever see weekends. Anything that eliminates the sixth day is good.
- Immediate alleviation of the manpower shortage. With only two shifts, you still pick up a bunch of bodies to man cars. The counter point is there aren't going to be enough cars to go around if Fleet keeps failing to maintain pool cars.
- While not seeing family for three days straight, seeing them for four days later might make up for it. Again, it needs to be explored.
- Side job opportunities - This could be huge. If we know coppers, there are a couple of sharp ones already looking into setting up some schedules where their people can work two or more of those four days off. With four days off, you can even do some graveyard gigs and still catch up on sleep before headed back to work. This could be an economic boon to hundreds of guys and gals looking to improve their financial situations. Perhaps the FOP could re-visit the Boston method where side jobs at malls and sporting events are dealt with EXCLUSIVELY through the Lodge, providing a steady work load.
The side job thing would be the biggest sticking point for the City. Daley wants wage slaves. He wants you broke and demoralized, not financially comfortable and with a good attitude. That's one of the reasons the City canceled the ten hour day experiment - too many people liked it so the City figured they ought to have the FOP negotiate to give something up to get it back.
Continue to discuss. We're withholding judgment until we see the proposals in writing, see what is offered, and most importantly, see what is surrendered to get any changes.
Labels: department issues