Police Collective Bargaining Will Be on Ballot
Maryland Court of Appeals rules in favor of Fraternal Order of Police request.
A referendum on the collective bargaining agreement between Montgomery County Police and the Montgomery County Council will be on the November ballot.
The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a Fraternal Order of Police request to put the issue before the voters.
In July 2011, the Montgomery County Council passed a law that blunted the police union's ability to negotiate certain management decisions, such as how officers are given new assignments and how to implement a new computer system used by employees. The law does not affect the right to negotiate for salary and benefits.
Then at the end of June, a Montgomery County judge struck down the FOP's petitition to put the negotiating question on the ballot. The appeals court has overturned that decision.
"Now it will be up to the voters to decide whether the law, unanimously passed by the council, intended to enable the police chief to manage his department effectively will remain in force," Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner said.
The FOP previously said that a change in bargaining powers would disrupt police deparment services.
“When we follow a process we don’t have these problems. Despite what you have been told in the media, this dispute is not about money. It is about process. The FOP was willing to give up $2.4 million in benefits cost for the county. The County Council rejected that and did what they wanted to do," the FOP said on its website.