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Idaho Falls to consider creating Police Union

The Idaho Falls Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #6 is asking the city to recognize it as a collective bargaining unit, or union. Mayor Rebecca Casper said the organization will present its case to the city council on July 10. “One of my key responsibilities is to ensure that the City Council receives sufficient information to make highly informed decisions,” said Casper. “Over the next several weeks, I hope the City Council, department personnel, members of the public and other interested parties will have an opportunity to have a dialogue about the merits of the proposal.” According to the city, Idaho Code specifies the right to bargain collectively is exclusively granted to firefighters and teachers. If other public employee groups wish to formally negotiate, they must be officially recognized by the governing body as a collective bargaining unit. If approved, the labor union could negotiate wages, benefits, and working conditions. “These meetings are the first steps toward what I hope will be a robust and civil conversation about the ongoing departmental needs of our police force,” said Casper. “I also feel it is important to allow the incoming chief of police the opportunity to review policies and practices, hear employee concerns, and draw from his insight and expertise regarding the best way to address management issues facing the Department in the coming years.” Following the FOP presentation in June, the city’s Human Resources Department will provide the City Council with information on the employee personnel manual and existing employee rights at a meeting August 7. Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that the city council will hear the proposal on July 10.

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