SLO police union’s binding arbitration challenge denied
May 16, 2011
San Luis Obispo Police Officers’ Association’s request for a temporary restraining order against the city in order to stop the public from voting on binding arbitration and a charter that requires voter approval to make changes in retirement benefits was denied earlier today.
On May 3, the union filed a civil suit alleging the city is ignoring its obligations to the city and that the council’s decision to put the cost saving measures on the ballot violates rules.
City attorney Christine Dietrick argued that the ballot measures did not go against collective bargaining requirements that the city must abide by.
San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Charles Crandell ruled in favor of the city of San Luis Obispo. As a result, the council is free to take action Tuesday night to put the repeal of binding arbitration and amendment of the charter language on pensions on a citywide all-mail ballot in August, Councilman Andrew Carter posted on his Facebook page less than an hour ago.
Binding arbitration, voted in by the public in 2000, entitles safety worker’s unions to bring in a third party negotiator if labor talks are at an impasse. The city and the unions are then required to abide by the negotiator’s decision.