The Contract and More….

As many of you have heard, the Council unanimously approved the Meet and Confer contract with the City of Houston and the Houston Police Officers’ Union.  This is very important to understand that in a time when heavy changes are coming to most police contracts, ours came away with very little regarding giving up rights after we informed the City that there were many misconceptions being spread by a few community activists.  Officers questioned the 180 day rule for date of discovery versus date of incident in termination cases.  This was an area that I had to rely on our attorneys for.  All four of our attorneys as well as the contract attorneys we use all said that it would not have any real impact on out membership.  San Antonio, and Austin had already agreed to the change in the 180 rule regarding termination, as well as many other “rights” to get a contract passed by their city councils.  All of this is being said to help people understand the importance of getting a contract passed in this climate.  The bargaining team of the HPOU worked hard for months on this deal and then worked for three weeks on city council members getting them up to speed and understanding the contract so that it would not be tagged.  Not only was it not tagged but received A Unanimous vote.  I want to give a special thanks to Ray Hunt, Tim Whitaker, and Ken Nealy who each spoke with different council members to make sure they had all the correct information.  I also would like to thank the leadership of AAPOL, especially their President Brandon Love, who is also a member of the HPOU, for calling councilmembers and supporting the contract.

With the passing of this contract, it will mark the 7th consecutive contract unanimously approved by city council.  This can be completely tied to the fact that we have relationships with the city council members.  The leadership of the HPOU works around the clock to foster good working relationships with the entire community and is starts with our city council.  The leadership works hard to coordinate and attend every political function, speaking engagement, or outreach opportunity.  It also helps when our PAC account helps gain the ears of elected officials, as we all know that it takes money to play in any political realm.  So, for those not giving to PAC, please start.  You may not always like who we support, but it is not about politics, it is about relationships and getting our foot in the right doors. Sometimes the politician is going to disagree with us, but at least they will listen to us.  Thanks again for all of those who supported the contract and for those who didn’t I hope you will soon see that it is a win for our members.

As a reminder, all pay increases in the new contract take effect the first full pay in July, which is July 9th.