UPDATED: Police Service Board Disagrees With Amherstburg Mayor's Statement On Severance
A statement by Mayor Aldo DiCarlo after a recent arbitration ruling has drawn criticism from the Amherstburg Police Services Board.
The arbitrator ruled that a "line-by-line approach" would be taken if officers try to collect severance as part of the collective bargaining agreement — that could result in four weeks for each year of service if they turn down the employment offer from Windsor Police Services.
"Everything has to be compared on a line-item basis and if our guys lose out on even one line, there's your trigger for them to be able to elect to not go to Windsor and take severance," says Board President Bob Rozankovic. "The only thing we can match is salaries for a particular position, we're obligated to top those up for two-years ... it's only the benefit portion of the agreement that is triggering something."
DiCarlo told AM800 News, with no employment offer on the table, it's a little too soon to be talking about severance. He stands by his previous statement that the town will find a way to shore-up any shortcomings.
"If the town does not equalize and provide better or equal ranking compensation salary, then severances would kick-in," he says. "If the town is then providing all those equalizations, then our position is the severance doesn't kick in."
Rozankovic says there's nothing stopping all 31 officers from walking if things don't match up, but echoed statements by Police Association President Shawn McCurdy, saying most of the force just wants to move forward and serve the community.
"This has been knowledge here since the Feb. 26 council meeting. They were told then that there was a chance of zero to $2.4-million worth of severances. It was only a chance then. Now, it's a very severe likelihood, but again, not certain, it's 99.99%.," says Rozankovic, who added there are up to six senior-officers that will likely opt for severance.
He says an employment offer will be issued by Oct. 27; officers will then have two-weeks to decide.
The 20-year contract with WPS is expected to save the town $570,000 a year and will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.