Univ. police press administration for contract response
The Brandeis University Police Association contacted University President Ron Liebowitz late Sunday night, urging him to “do what is right and take the necessary steps” toward resolving more than a year of contract negotiations, according to an email that the union shared with the Justice.
After its contract expired in July 2016, the union — an American Coalition of Public Safety chapter known as ACOPS Local 20 — sought contract changes that would improve officers’ morale, efficiency and quality of life, according to Sunday’s email. These changes included requests for additional training and adjustments to officers’ work schedules, which two union representatives elaborated upon in an interview with the Justice last spring.
During negotiations, ACOPS Local 20 called for more training for active-shooter and mass-casualty incidents, and it proposed pushing officers’ shifts up by one hour, according to a May 2 article in the Justice.
ACOPS Local 20 sent the letter to Liebowitz after participating in eight negotiation meetings from October 2016 to March 2017 and seven federal mediation meetings since July 2017, according to the email.
“Despite our best efforts to work with the University’s committee, meaningful progress was virtually unattainable,” the email read.
“From the onset it seemed that the University’s committee had contrived a bargaining plan designed to frustrate and marginalize our committee into submission,” the email read, adding that this included arriving late to meetings and avoiding discussion.
“It’s difficult to fathom that an employer could show such utter disregard and even contempt for its workers,” the email read.
The University declined to discuss specifics of the ongoing contract negotiations, but Director of Media Relations Julie Jette provided the Justice with a statement regarding the matter: “Brandeis deeply values its police officers and all they do to keep our campus safe. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith with the police union to agree on a new contract.”
“Significant concessions have been made on both sides, and with continued efforts, we are sure an agreement can be reached,” the University’s statement read.
An ACOPS Local 20 representative declined to comment to the Justice on the union’s email at this time, noting a desire to give Liebowitz an opportunity to respond.