Public safety command staff benefits to stay unchanged

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – An amendment to an ordinance that could have affected some firefighter and police officer pay failed at City Council Tuesday night. Councilman Jason Arp (R-District 4) proposed an amendment to the personnel ordinance.

That amendment would withhold benefits brought about by collective bargaining from fire and police command staff. Command staff are not members of the unions therefore are not part of the collective bargaining process.

However, in 2010 City Council passed a rule to allow command staff to enjoy the same benefits, like pay raises, brought about through collective bargaining. Arp said his amendment would take care of a ‘free-rider’ problem.

“It’s not quite fair that other people get to enjoy the benefits of what they’re bargaining for without being a part of the collective bargaining unit,” Arp said.

“When there are changes in elected officials anything is possible,” Fort Wayne Police Chief Steve Reed said. “[Paychecks] could raise, they could lower, they could get more, they could get less. I believe the way it’s written it’s a fair and consistent way of doing things.”

Arp doesn’t plan to go back to the drawing board on this one. He said the support just isn’t there.