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Police push for raises
By William Henderson/ [email protected]
Thursday, October 14, 2004

Nearly 20 police union members walked along the sidewalk adjacent to the police department during the annual Open House last Thursday, holding signs accusing Town Manager Wayne Marquis of engaging in unfair wage negotiations and urging the town to support the Danvers police.

The demonstration, although organized before Town Manager Wayne Marquis received a pay raise for fiscal 2005, was fueled by the Board of Selectmen's decision, union leader Mike Hagan said.

"Basically, the Town Manager got his raise," Hagan said. "Now, we'd like ours."

Bright blue photocopied articles were given to residents touring the police department during Open House. These articles spelled out some of what angers the police union, including Marquis' decision to cut the school's DARE officer.

This is not exactly true, Marquis explained during a separate interview. Yes, he had to decide how to best distribute funds across the town's personnel during a year when local aid was cut by $1.5 million dollars, but this was achieved without cutting any currently-filled positions. Instead, one of two officers trained in the DARE program was reassigned as a regular patrol officer.

This week, Marquis was notified that the town's attempts to qualify for state monies to fund this second DARE officer failed. Marquis said he knows how valuable having two DARE officers is for the town and will continue to look for ways of funding this second officer.

Retired police officer James George joined the demonstration to support his brothers, he said.

"I hope the town negotiates so they [the officers] can get what they deserve," George said. "You couldn't ask for a better group of service providers."

The town's 44 union police employees have been working for more than 18 months without a contract. While Marquis has referred to these negotiations as being cordial and productive, these union employees refer to the negotiations as being anything but, blaming Marquis for failure to reach an agreement.

"Wayne...shame on you!" read a sign adhered to a van parked near the protesting officers. "Members who protect YOUR community ask YOU to NEGOTIATE FAIRLY. End the games, Wayne."

The negotiating sticking point, Hagan said, concerns a retroactive 3 percent raise for fiscal 2004, which ended June 30. Hagan made reference to such a raise for the fire department, but Marquis said as of Tuesday afternoon the town did not have a signed contract with the union fire department employees.

He also said that while salary negotiations tend to remain closed-door conversations, he didn't expect to agree to give union employees any less than what was given to non-union employees. For fiscal 2004, non-union employees were given a 1 percent base salary increase made effective June 30, 2004 and an additional 1 percent lump-sum payment. In addition, for fiscal 2005 non-union employees have received raises worth 3 percent, with 1 percent made effective July 1, 2004 and 2 percent effective Jan. 1, 2005.

Police officers hope residents call Marquis and ask him to get a new contract signed. A mediator has been assigned to help the negotiating process between police and the town and will meet with each side next week. Marquis hopes the mediator will help speed up negotiations.

Hagan said the town can expect to see more demonstrations.

"We're doing a fine job," Hagan said. "I don't know why he (Marquis) doesn't support us."
 

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Re: Give them there dam contract........they deserve it!!!!!

GIVE ME A BREAK! 1 or 2% Raise :shock: Heck, they should get at least cola which was 3% and a raise on top! :evil:
 

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Re: Give them there dam contract........they deserve it!!!!!

State: Decline in tickets doesn't constitute unlawful strike
By William Henderson/ [email protected]
Thursday, November 11, 2004

Police were jubilant Tuesday night after the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission ruled officers had done nothing unlawful to cause the recent reduction in revenue-generating tickets.

The decision, hinging on the fact that the town does not have a written policy stipulating the number of tickets police officers are required to issue, followed a two-day hearing held last week in which the town attempted to link the ticket reduction to a negotiation-fueled passive strike against the town.

"I'm disappointed," Town Manager Wayne Marquis said Wednesday morning. "I still think the facts of the case speak for themselves. They looked at a narrow basis for their rationale and ignored what we felt were the most pertinent facts."

The town's petition, filed Oct. 22, alleged that the Danvers Police Benevolent Association and its officers, executive board members, bargaining team members, and individuals violated their contract by engaging in and by inducing, condoning, and encouraging an illegal work stoppage and withholding of services.

This stoppage, according to the town's allegations, resulted in a loss of $173,388 in revenue, which the town asked the LRC to require union police officers to repay. Marquis estimated Wednesday that by the end of fiscal 2005, this seemingly reduced rate at which police issue tickets could cost the town between $220,000 and $240,000.

The LRC concluded that since the town has no written policy stipulating the number of tickets police must issue, the town could not consider recent activity as a change in the standard. Because of this, the LRC opted not to look at any evidence pertaining to the allegation. They also decided not to weigh in on any other issue brought up by the town, including its efforts to force police officers to repay the lost revenue. Police will not be required to repay the money.

"This doesn't take away from the fact that this happened," Marquis said. "From my perspective, it's a straight forward case resulting in an obvious change in behavior."

Marquis also said that while there are no quotas currently, police department requirements are reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

Union President Dana "Mike" Hagan said Tuesday evening that "the 44 members of the Danvers Police Benevolent Association want the 27,000 residents of this community to know that our main objective is to maintain order, solve crimes, and keep the community as safe as possible."

Just a few hours after Hagan received the 22-page decision, someone had written the words "we won!" on the police officers' assignment board. Before leaving Tuesday night, Detective Sgt. Carole Germano, Police Benevolent Association vice president, added the words "good guys" to the message so that it read, "we good guys won!"

Hagan said he still believes the charges were filed to force the union to sign a contract.

"With taxes soaring in Danvers," he said, "it is very clear that Town Manager Wayne Marquis wants to use this police department as a revenue-driven operation and use traffic citations as a secondary tax to the citizens of Danvers."

Going forward he hopes the bargaining process will continue in "good faith," Hagan said, although some bitterness remains.

"We are very disappointed with management. We feel their actions were both unethical and immoral and there will obviously be a sense of distrust at the table," Hagan said.

Marquis, however, remains optimistic that the town will successfully enter into a multi-year contract with the police department. A state mediator is scheduled to meet with the bargaining groups later this month.

With the LRC's decision in hand, both parties are discussing which steps to next take. Hagan said the union could pursue criminal or civil action against the town while Marquis said he and Town Counsel will review the ruling and discuss what appeal processes are available.

Hagan also said the union felt slightly let down by the Board of Selectmen.

"We would like to express our extreme disappointment with the members of the Board of Selectmen," Hagan said. "They let Town Manager Wayne Marquis move forward with this frivolous complaint against our members with no questions asked. The Town Manager works for the Board of Selectmen but the Board of Selectmen are supposed to be working for us."

He later said only Selectman Keith Lucy and long-time Town Meeting member Wilbur Cobb contacted union employees about the validity of the town's allegations.

Traffic tickets: number and revenue

2002: 1,850; $155,070

2003, 2,604; $255,138

2004, 254; $25,936

Hey wayne, stop playing games, stop pushing your raises through.......and give them this cost of liveing increase...........god knows YOU do every year. YOU ARE THE REASON TAXES ARE GOING UP WAYNE..............YOU ARE TRYING TO MAKE DANVERS A TOWN OF MANSIONS AND CONTINUE TO ALLOW DEVELOPMENT THAT TAX OUR FIRE,POLICE,WATER AND POWER RESOURCES!!!!!!!! :up_yours: :cussing: :2up:

You can follow more of this happy story here
More on the Danvers PD fight.
 

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Re: Give them there dam contract........they deserve it!!!!!

Ok, so Danvers is a Nationally and State Accredited L.E. Agency and their Town Manager does not feel they deserve a fair contract? Some of the credit for being able to achieve the certification has to be due to the rank and file and their performance, not just the administration. The Selectman should not offer the Town Manager a contract and see how he feels. Guess he is all set so the livelyhood of the officers does not matter.
 
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