Month 2003-9 September
Meeting of 2003-9-3 Regular Meeting
LAWTON CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
SEPTEMBER 3, 2003 5:30 P.M.
WAYNE GILLEY CITY HALL COUNCIL CHAMBER
Mayor Cecil E. Powell, Also
Mitchell, City Manager
Vincent, City Attorney
Fanning, Acting City Clerk
The meeting was called to order at 5:30 p.m. by Mayor Powell. Notice of meeting
were posted on the City Hall notice board as required by law.
Bass, Ward One
Hanna, Ward Two
Glenn Devine, Ward Three
Ewing-Holmstrom, Ward Four
Shanklin, Ward Five
Jeffrey Patton, Ward Six
*Stanley Haywood, Ward Seven
Randy Warren, Ward Eight
*Haywood arrived during executive session at 5:38 p.m.
MOTION by Shanklin, SECOND by Warren, to convene in executive session to consider the
item so listed on the agenda and as recommended by the legal staff. AYE: Hanna, Devine,
Ewing-Holmstrom, Shanklin, Patton, Warren, Bass. NAY: None. MOTION CARRIED
The Mayor and Council convened in executive session at approximately 5:31 p.m. and
reconvened in regular, open session at approximately 6:36 p.m. with roll call reflecting all
BUSINESS ITEM/EXECUTIVE SESSION:
1. Pursuant to Section 307B.2, Title 25, Oklahoma Statues, consider
convening in executive
session to discuss the contract arbitration hearing and the award in the case of
IUPA, Local 24
vs. City of Lawton, Oklahoma, FMCS 030417-5083-78, and, in open session, consider adopting a
resolution calling for a special election on a contract between the City and IUPA, Local 24, for
fiscal year 2003-2004.
Powell announced, with Council s permission, Tommy Harrell, LPD, will be allowed
Harrell, 7604 NW Tundridge Place, said he was here as the spokesperson for the IUPA
the current bargaining agent for the 150 sworn officers of the Lawton Police Department. He has
been with the Lawton Police Department for over 17 years. He said City of Lawton and the
IUPA Local 24 entered into negotiations and was able to come to agreement on some issues and
other issues on the table were not resolved. These issues were submitted for interest arbitration.
The main unresolved issues were merit step increases and issues dealing with their health
insurance benefits. He said IUPA Local 24 had previously recognized there were problems with
the funding in the City of Lawton Health Insurance Fund. The IUPA, through its members on the
Health Review Committee, have made concessions in the past on benefits, which caused no
additional monetary effect to the City s budget. He said a reduction in benefits only affects
those using the services. The Health Committee later made a recommendation to the City s
the employee portion of the insurance premium be raised to an adequate level to properly insure
those individuals. The committee was fully aware the changes in the employee premium was an
expense that would be bored by the City. The self-funded plan is supposed to be a joint venture
between the City and it s employees and is a benefit that is provided in the total pay package
working for the City. A benefit does come with associated expenses and they did recognize that.
The employees made the first move and believed it was the City s turn to act in good faith. The
committee in or about 1999 made City staff aware of the problem with the funding of employee
premium and this fell on deaf ears and the problem was ignored. The plan funding continued to
decline in 2002-2003, the IUPA took into account the City s financial situation during
negotiations for fiscal year 2003-2004 and did in fact, make major concessions in insurance
premiums and benefits in their last best offer to attempt to help correct a problem they did not
create. He said these concessions would cost the employees represented by IUPA over $132,000
in this fiscal year. The City has failed to move off the issues involving insurance attempting
force IUPA to waive it s right to negotiate on insurance issues. The City, in it s
last best offer,
has attempted to put into place, a management right, that would force waiver of the statutory
right to bargain over insurance issues. He said the law is clear, a waiver of a right to bargain
to be clear, concise, and voluntary. He said they would go on record to state the IUPA Local 24
has no intentions of waiving the right to bargain on insurance issues. However, they do intend
negotiate and bargain on those items in good faith. He said the IUPA just received an award to
reinstate the non-PPO coverage to the insurance plan and has agreed, in their last best offer, not
to implement that award for 2003-2004. On the issues of the merit step increases, the city staff
has not been able to properly place a cost on the increase for fiscal year 2003-2004. If the staff
had of properly advised the Council of what the actual cost of this issue was, they very well may
not have been at impasse. The City came into the arbitration hearing with a cost of this issue
over $360,000 and staff came back later in the hearing with a cost, refigured, at $105,000; this is
an accounting error of over $250,000. Even with this figure, the city staff was not able, at the
arbitration hearing, to provide a proper foundation for the cost analysis placing the amount at
$105,000, therefore, this figure, in our minds, is in question as to whether that is accurate or not.
He said the IUPA provided a figure on this issue at $66,300. We also had documentation of
each officer due a merit increase for fiscal year 2003-2004, what percent of an increase that
would be and for how many weeks during this current contract year they would receive that merit
increase. The IUPA has laid a proper foundation for it s cost analysis and has not had to
on that figure. The City, in it s post hearing brief, stated the projected savings to the
it s last best offer, would be $136,430 and the additional affect on the fiscal year 2003-2004
budget, the IUPA s last best offer, would be $112,000. The City attempted to bolster their
position by stating the difference as $230,000 in the agreement. He said the difference is
$112,000 and that s using the City s figures. An election would cost the City approximately
$15,000; the City has already spent several thousand dollars hiring Mr. Puckett and Mr.
Crawford to represent them at the arbitration hearing. He said Crawford, the auditor for the City,
testified at the arbitration hearing the City did, in fact, have the available revenues to fund the
IUPA s offer; he went on to testify this was the first time he has testified that a city had the
available revenue to fund a union s offer. He said it is not in the best interest of the
the citizens, the city government or the police department to continue this process any farther.
They do not ask for, nor have been awarded anything new in this contract. In fact, they
made a large amount of concessions for fiscal year 2003-2004. Harrell said one of the biggest
questions the Council has to ask is how do the citizens of this community feel about this issue of
whether to go to a vote of the people. He said just look around this room tonight and these are the
citizens of the community and it s clear they have shown their support in how they would cast
their vote, should this go, so they asked and encouraged Council to accept the arbitrator s award
and bring this issue to a close so all can get back to the business of doing the City s business.
Hanna said we have heard from their representative, now can the City have their say,
public can understand what is going on. He said the voting public knows there are two sides to
every story and we have heard just one side, now let the City have their say.
Rick Endicott, Finance Director, said during arbitration hearing, we recognized an error
made, we corrected it the best we could. He said since that time, we have provided Council and
City Manager with information listing each and every one of the officers eligible for step
increases and that number is currently $92,000, our total cost for everything would be $160,000,
if the citizens chose to adopt the union proposal.
Hanna asked Endicott to break that down to where the costs are coming from, such as
insurance, etc. and why there is a disagreement, so everyone understands.
Endicott said they have gone back, looked at every officer, and compared it to the list
presented at the arbitration hearing. At the hearing, they testified the cost for step increases
$62, 848 for 56 officers; the list they presented had 69 officers on it and our list has 68. He
their list did not include many of the incentives. The number for the step increases is $92,110,
the reason for the difference in the $92,000 and the $105,000 is we realized there were
probationary officers and recruits in our list and we took them out. He said there is no attempt to
deceive anybody in this process; a mistake was made and we fixed it. The educational assistance
we are estimating $2,087. Based on the last best offer presented by the IUPA, the City s
the insurance would be an additional $53,400. He said in their schedule they have individual
premium costs, $50 they have agreed to; in their schedule for individual with one dependant, they
have $192.46, the City employees are currently required to pay $249.46; individual with two
dependants, their schedule shows $206.46, the City s schedule is $256; individual with three
plus dependants, their schedule shows $216.45, the City s schedule is $266.45 and we estimated
that cost to be $53,400. He said to adjust for officers in grades 11, 21, 26 and 30; the estimated
cost is $13,391 for a total cost of $160,988.
Powell explained these are the figures for the City s last best offer and
the IUPA s last best
offer and there is some difference and Endicott and Harrell have both talked about that briefly.
Harrell said for clarification, apparently, there is some misinterpretation of the intent
language in the IUPA s last best offer concerning insurance. He said they would go on record
that the intent of the language on the premiums is for each employee to pay their $50 plus the
dependent costs; so, it s those three dependant levels plus their $50 for their own person. He
said that is the intent of that language, it s not for an employee with one dependant to only
$192.46, it s to pay that plus the $50 for their own coverage, so that would negate that $52,000
difference in the insurance premiums.
Powell said what he hears is not only they would pay the $50 like everybody else, but
pay like everybody is for those different levels.
Harrell said they would be paying at the same level all other city employees are right
Bass asked if that was included the interest arbitration.
Harrell said his testimony at the interest arbitration was they would pay the $50 plus
dependent coverage levels. He said he was notified later on that there may have been some
concern over that, however, it was not the intent of that language, nor was that his testimony at
the arbitration hearing. He said the intent of that was to pay the $50 plus whatever the dependant
Powell said, for clarification purposes for everybody: we talked about the $53,400
reason for that was what Harrell just said that they will participate, as all other employees. He
asked Endicott if that is what he d heard.
Endicott said that is what he heard.
Powell asked if that would negate that $53,400.
Endicott said legally he could not answer that. He said that was what was in the
last best offer
and that s why we picked that up, but if they participated in that portion of it, just like every
other city employee, it would negate that $53,400.
Powell thanked Endicott and asked Vincent for some advice on this.
Vincent said Harrell is to be trusted and he s sure Mr. Yarborough, President
of the Union,
would agree and if Powell would like him to come up and testify on the record, if they were to
file a grievance, we could use his testimony at the hearing to defeat their grievance.
Brent Yarborough, Lawton Police Officer, IUPA Local 24 President, said that is their
was discussed at length at the arbitration they would pay the $50 and also pay the breakdown on
the tier system. He said there is no intent by this union, in their last best offer, to not pay
or just pay the dependent coverage; if an officer elects coverage through the City of Lawton,
they will pay the $50 and if they have the dependent care through the tier system, they will be
paying the $50 plus whatever that is.
MOTION by Shanklin, SECOND by Patton, to accept the arbitrator s award in the case of
IUPA, Local 24 vs. City of Lawton, Oklahoma, FMCS 030417-5083-78 for fiscal year 2003-2004. AYE: Ewing-Holmstrom, Patton, Haywood, Warren, Bass, Hanna, Devine, Shanklin.
NAY: None. MOTION CARRIED
Powell said on September 11, we all remember that day: General Maples and himself have
Proclamation and there are some things that affect all of us. He said he had talked with the City
Manager about this; all persons who have a flag at home or business, fly that at half staff, in
accordance with the Presidential Decree, at 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2003 and all business
and transportation cease for 1 minute, in honor of those who lost their lives on September 11
well as our men and women in uniform, fighting to preserve the freedoms we have in this United
States of America, whereby, you and I can come together and have a meeting such as tonight and
express our wishes and desires and the democratic system does work. Powell asked everyone to
Chief Thorne recommended everyone do this because it is very important.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business to consider, the meeting adjourned
p.m. upon motion, second and roll call vote.