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Local 724 Political News
Keep it right here for you latest Team 724 news and events.
Political Director Chuck Flynn will posting vital info to the campaign
and Team 724's next move..

JULY UPDATE


July brings us those lazy hazy days of summer and our well deserved vacation season. Many of our hard working members begin escaping their 60 hour work weeks for their favorite hotels, motels and campgrounds. Near or far, some will enjoy the woods, others by a lake and the rest on a beach near Saint Somewhere. We encourage all of them to find their perfect place with family and friends, leave work behind, forget what day of the week it is and have a toast to a vacation of no regrets!
On Father's Day Chief Pete Richard took the time to show appreciation for all the hard work that everyone does here at NLPD,  keeping the city safe is not an easy task.  He stated during the holiday times it’s hard to leave our loved ones and come into work and provided lunch on him for the day and evening shift with freshly made pizza in the parking lot from Luigi's Wood Fired Pizza Risto truck. A great morale booster and belt line buster for all! Thank you Chief.
July 1st means the fiscal budget year begins. We expect two newly funded police officer positions to be hired as soon as possible boosting our staffing numbers to 74. While not close to the required minimum staffing of 80 it is better than the previous number of 68. Union leadership continues to keep an open dialogue with Chief Reichard and Mayor Passero's office to improve upon those staffing numbers.
Part of those discussions resulted in the Chief's decision to assign Investigator(s) to the Detective Bureau assisting with a back log of criminal investigations, in particular a focus on sexual assault casework that has spiked in this #metoo era. Contract already language exists and presents a great opportunity for our members to gain valuable experience.
President Lynch has expressed our concerns with the lack of any formal discussions about agency reorganization since first brought up informally by the chief in 2018. Union officials believe any formal talks should begin with management on what they envision their new plan to be. Our issues revolve around how changes would affect daily operations and the impact on current rank and file before any counter proposals would be extended. We remain ready and willing for those talks to begin, especially before any promotion of a Deputy Chief position is made. To be clear, we don't oppose the need for a DC just that for continuity the re-org should also be incorporated into any such promotion.

One of our police K9 Belgian Malinois' was relinquished back to the breeder for outside agency training issues and behavioral concerns not consistent with our program needs. The department plans to accept a young German Shepherd from the breeder in September with formal training to follow throughout the fall.

Todd Lynch has 25 years of police K9 trainer experience with over 225 dogs, was commanding officer of CSP K9 Unit and a recognized court certified expert in K9 training. In fact former Chief Bruce Rinehart hired Todd in 2007 with the expressed intent of having him run the NLPD K9 training program.
The Connecticut Police Work Dog Association (CPWDA) provides police K9 trainers as an alternative to state police. Local police agencies pay annual fees to belong to CPWDA. Their bylaws state that once a trainer is recognized they can only be removed for just cause or are no longer an active police officer. For reasons only known to CPWDA president Dan Lane, Todd Lynch's certification was suddenly pulled without any prior notice or further explanation.
CT Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST-C) does not have specific prerequisites or guidelines on police k9 trainer requirements other than individual trainer qualifications found on a resume. However lacking the CPWDA certification Chief Richard has claimed he fears the State's Attorney's office may not prosecute any K9 related cases without such a certificate from some entity.
It certainly raises our argument that Lynch's certificate may have been pulled to ensure outside entities train our dogs, even though our policies and stipulated agreements require our own in house department K9 trainer prompting a pending grievance. The Chief has the ability to make this right inside our agency and we wait to see how and when he resolves this.
While this tit for tat plays out, if this mess it is not quickly resolved Local 724 leadership is reviewing all their options including consideration of legal action against CPWDA and its individual board members for violating their own by laws to decertify Lynch to personally harm not only his ability to train any K9's but also his professional reputation as a highly qualified K9 trainer.

The daily life and expectations of police officers certainly has changed over the last few decades. A larger knowledge base with more daily responsibility, more oversight and accountability both internally and externally with a demanding public that insists feelings are just as important as facts insisting the cop was wrong until proven the cop was right. That’s the job today. We accept it for what it is.
It is equally just as important this department recognize our personnel for acts of valor, outstanding performance, dedication to duty and service to the nation, state, county or community. Our men and women have performed some exceptional services which have gone unnoticed for too long by the agency except for occasional letters of commendation or recognition by an outside agency and that needs to change.
Republican Marty Olsen has formally entered the race of New London mayor this November. We salute him for his public service and encourage a robust debate on the public issues that face the city. On that note our biggest question for Marty having served the city in various capacities for decades is, just what are your accomplishments?
In 2009 while running for council Marty believed the city's salvation is rooted in improving its schools and said success will require community-based support and fiscal transparency. Development of Fort Trumbull is also a priority. Well it's 2019 and the schools are a bigger mess now and Ft Trumbull still vacant for the last 14 years. (Keeping in the spirit of his transparency Marty moved from New London to Lyme for several years when his children were school aged to avoid attending NLPS.)
Forward to 2011 Marty ran for mayor claiming his education and teaching experience give him a background necessary for the mayor's role as an ex-officio member of the Board of Education. He said the board is currently not taking a firm stance to improve academic performance and other aspects of the , and that working to do so would be a top priority if he is elected. "We're literally trolling at the bottom of the state of Connecticut, which is not where we want to be," he said." So what have you done since 2011 since the schools are worse now.
Other aspects of city government, including expand the city's Grand List and encourage development, residents also need to feel safe and that the current number of officers (85) is adequate for police patrols and duties."We can function I think very professionally with the current staffing," he said while supporting former Chief Ackely over rank and file members.
Now in 2019 he is running again for mayor with a focus on the "perception of safe city" (74 officers), maximizing our opportunities,” by building better relationships with Connecticut College, Mitchell College, the Coast Guard Academy and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and plans to better promote the city’s history as a destination, tackle blight and bulky waste issues and “inspire neighborhood and community pride.” Well the aforementioned non profits aren't about to open their wallets anytime soon, the sole blight officer left months ago and not replaced so your campaign is now about inspiring community pride?
So again Marty as a current councilor, former deputy mayor and former member of economic development and planning and zoning committees we ask two questions: What are your accomplishments as an elected official that have improved the city and now move New London forward? Are we better off now than we were 4 years ago?
June 5th marked the end of this year's General Assembly legislative session preventing us from any more crazy bills until next year. The House of Representatives passed 428 bills while the Senate endorsed 380 of which 230 are new laws that are now on Governor Lamont's desk for review for either support or veto.
One of those bills was SB-882 which as proposed called for more than doubling employee contribution increases over three years to the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) which includes our membership. Since MERS is one of the best funded public pensions in the country our employees took exception to the proposal.
With tireless help from AFSCME's legislative coordinators Brian Anderson and Zak Levy along with assistance from Council 4's communications director Larry Dorman, executive director Jody Barr and CT- AFL-CIO executive director Sal Luciano the bill provisions were whittled down to an acceptable compromise of a three percent increase spread over six years at one half of one percent each year while gutting Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) proposals that sought upwards of an additional 13 % of employee wage contributions with lesser retirement plans for new employees and language that favored management in future arbitration cases.

In the words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "politics doesn't happen by accident, if it happens it was planned that way". Local 724 with the help of our AFSCME leaders who were at the tip of the spear found fair and equitable solution for our members that protected their hard won benefits. We appreciate their hard work that never gets the credit they rightly deserve. On behalf of Local 724 we salute Brian, Zak, Larry, Jody and Sal for their assistance on this bill.


 

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Why Political Action

THE DECISIONS that a legislative body makes, whether it is a school board, city council, county board, state legislature, or the U.S. Congress, affect AFSCME members and their families in dramatic ways.

Elected officials vote on budgets that affect employee wages, benefits, working conditions and pensions. They vote on issues of particular concern to AFSCME members, like privatization, and they vote on broader issues of concern to all working families, such as health care reform and workers' compensation. That's why working people need to have allies among elected officials. And that's why working people need to work to elect these allies.

The Local 724 executive board has the collective responsibility to provide vision and direction for the local. It is up to the leadership team to look ahead, set goals and develop a plan to make strategic planning a critical element to having a strong union which can only come about when membership is informed, educated and active.

Unions can never hope to match the hundreds of millions of dollars big business pours into every election. But working people have superior numbers, so they can get out in the streets and work for candidates. And if members pool their cash, unions can help make sure that their endorsed candidates have enough funds to compete against business-backed opponents in the ever-more important media ad wars.

Through the political process we can be involved in setting important public policy. Through the political process public employees can elect representatives who are sensitive to maintaining vital public services and committed to dealing with workers fairly.

Local 724 accomplishes this through political action in conjunction with the exercise of collective bargaining process, growth and community involvement to produce a just and rewarding workplace.

   

Local 724 gets recognized on the national level!

On January 28, 2011 at the Council 4 Campaign for the Middle Class Seminar in Meriden The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO thanked the New London Police Union- Local 724 for their efforts in the Labor 2010 campaign.

Lee Saunders, International Secretary-Treasurer and AFSCME Council 4's Sal Luciano who is also an International Vice President honored Local 724 with a certificate "In recognition of their tireless work and commitment during the 2010 State of Connecticut general elections". To this day labor leaders throughout the state continue to praise our Malloy/Wyman Pre-Debate Rally as a new benchmark of what local labor can achieve when committed to a goal.

Chuck Flynn was honored to accept the award on behalf of our entire membership which will hang proudly in the 724 "Hall of Justice". I want to personally thank everyone that participated in some way no matter how big or small. Our election success was due to the collective efforts of our TEAM-Together Everyone Accomplishes More.

 


724 helps East Lyme fight the cause

Why Political Action


Shooting from the lip
Political Director C Flynn

4 Crippling Leadership Mistakes