Public Safety Union Officials Vow To Appeal AA Council Vote

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 – Steve Fermier
A plan to change the way the county deals with public safety union labor disputes has been passed by the Anne Arundel County council.

Now police and firefighters union officials are vowing to go to court if necessary. 

County Executive John Leopold’s proposal to release the Council from submitting to the findings of binding arbitration when negotiations with public safety unions hit an impasse was approved last night. 

Leopold said the measure will help the county plug a $75 million budget hole.

Craig Oldershaw told WBAL News he is disappointed, and expects police and firefighters officials with the Public Safety Coaliton to meet tomorrow to plan a course of action.  That could include a lawsuit, Oldershaw said. 

Binding arbitration normally kicks in when the sides reach an impasse in contract negotiations.

Under the measure passed last night, the Council would be allowed to ignore the findings by an arbitrator. 

An amendment approved by the Council would require that an arbitrator’s findings would be included in budget proposals.

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