Originally Posted on March 11, 2016
On May 21, 2015, the members from the Lodge as well as the Department attended a regularly scheduled Joint Uniform Committee meeting. It was at this meeting that the Lodge was informed the Department was planning to implement a brand new change in policy banning all visible tattoos. Although this issue was never discussed throughout during our Contact negotiation process, all of a sudden the City decided to drastically change the long-standing uniform policy. All attempts to address options fell on deaf ears and the Department was obvious in that they were not concerned with the Lodge representative’s input. The Department intention to just go forward with this new plan was never going to work for the FOP. TATTOO ARBITRATION WIN!
The Lodge saw this as a unilateral change to working conditions and we were not going to stand by and allow the Department to arbitrarily harm the affected Members. This matter was sent to final and binding arbitration and a hearing that was held on September 9, 2015 before Arbitrator Jacalyn J. Zimmerman.
We are extremely pleased to report that earlier this afternoon we were informed that the Lodge won the arbitration! As a matter of fact, Arbitrator Zimmerman accepted nearly all of our many arguments. She credited FOP First Vice-President Ray Casiano’s expert testimony concerning firearms safety in addressing the terms of how the changes to the Department policy could negatively affect our members’ ability to utilize their firearms.
The Award reads as follows:
The grievance is sustained. The Employer violated the agreement when it unilaterally implemented revisions to its Uniform and Property Order, U04-01, effective June 12, 2015, banning the display of visible tattoos. The appropriate remedy is for the Department to rescind the revisions and restore the prior policy, rescind and make employees whole for any discipline issued pursuant to these revisions, and to make employees whole for their demonstrable losses resulting from compliance with the revisions. The arbitrator will retain jurisdiction over this matter for a period of 60-days.
There are several other key players who need to be thanked and acknowledged for their cooperation during the arbitration proceedings, including testimony, enduring interviews, sacrificing personal time and demonstrating tireless dedication to making this wrong, right.
On behalf of the entire Membership, thank you to Sergeant-at-Arms Al Francis, Jr., Mounted Officer Robert Galassi, Officer Thomas Grimm, Trustee Jay Ryan, First Vice President Ray Casiano and the Lodge Attorney Pat Fioretto of Baum Sigman Auerbach & Neuman, Ltd.
An amazing job by all! Well Done!
If you have since paid for tattoo removal please fill out this form and return it to FOP Lodge #7 by April 11, with any receipts you may have.