After four long months of going back and forth with the city, we now have a contract. I want to first thank all of those who made it out to vote. I am sad to say that only 1,600 of our 5,100 members voted in the ratification of the contract.
This is not unusual as we only had 1,891 vote in the last contract election. The contract did pass with a vote of 1,101 voting for and 510 voting against.
Many of you asked questions about why we do not have online voting for the contract. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that it is a labor contract, and we must be certain no one is voting for another person.
Secondly, we want officers to attend informational meetings or meet with someone who negotiated the contract before voting to make sure the officer received the correct information.
A few folks, for whatever reason, tried to kill this contract vote with false information. There were several lies that were pushed around the department, one of which was from the leader of another employee group. Even some of his members were disappointed and shared his email with me. I was very disappointed in the fact that many just believed whatever was on social media and refused to educate themselves.
When people came to the Union and asked questions, they were given a contract, and a highlight sheet, and then I or another HPOU board member answered all of their questions.
Many of our board members started at stations Tuesday morning, telling everyone they could about the contract and answering questions. We then held informational sessions every hour at the Union until 1 a.m. Then we had sessions several times a day every day until the end of voting. We went around the clock because one of the most important functions of a union is the contract vote.
I want everyone to understand that there is absolutely no way that this organization will ever jeopardize our members with anything in a contract. Everything we do in bargaining is to better what we have and to make sure our rights are protected.
With all of the “police reform” going on around the country, we were able to prevent the erosion of rights like those seen in Austin and San Antonio. I am also well aware that we cannot make everyone happy, nor is that my job.
My job is to get the best deal we could possibly get – and we did. I am proud of the bargaining team and the product that was produced from all of its hard work. This was a time-consuming process that took many long days, late hours and weekends. This was a long hard process that is now moving to City Council for a vote.
Thanks to all who participated.
If you have any questions or comments, you are always welcome to call or email me.