Sisters and Brothers,
On February 12, 2015 the Association received the ruling from the Fact Finding session held on January 20th and 21st. The hearing officer ruled in favor of the City’s position on health insurance and the random drug testing policy. Specifically the hearing officer decided the City provides “competitive health insurance at a reasonable cost” and a random drug testing policy with zero tolerance is acceptable.
The Executive Board/Bargaining Team would like to remind the membership this decision is non-binding. The Association’s position has been and will continue to be in favor of a proposed contract that does not result in a pay cut. Fact finding is just one step in the process in an attempt to work out an agreement that is fair and equitable to our membership.
The Articles of Agreement allow both parties seven days to come to an agreement as part of the impasse procedure. If there is no agreement after this seven day period, the issue is submitted to the qualified voters of the City of El Paso in the May 9th municipal election.
We will meet with our team and evaluate our position. At this point, the preparations we have all taken are still in effect and we will continue to move forward in meeting our objectives as you all identified by overwhelmingly voting down the City’s last, best and final offer by a vote of 667 to 4.
Joseph A. Tellez
IAFF Local 51