Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Contract Talks Over LAPD Flexible Work Schedule Going Smoothly—Union
By a MetNews Staff Writer
It will take about a week from the time the Police Commission approves a template flexible work schedule for the Los Angles Police Department before a contract between the department’s rank-and-file officers and the city can be finalized, police union head Mitzi Grasso told a City Council committee yesterday.
“We are cutting through the issues very rapidly,” Grasso, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, told members of the council’s Public Safety Committee.
Mayor James Hahn on Sept. 18 presented his hybrid plan that mixes 10- and 12-hour shifts with traditional 8-hour shifts to the Police Commission with a target implementation date of Oct. 20 in Hollywood and Central.
Implementing a flexible work schedule for the city’s police officers was a promise Hahn made to the police union during his recent mayoral campaign.
The commission voted 4-1 to approve the plan, with Commissioner Bert Boeckmann voting against implementation.
Using that plan as a starting point, Police Management Advisors, an outside consultant studying flexible work schedules for the City Council, is developing a plan that will be catered individually to each of the LAPD’s 18 divisions.
PMA will present its template plan for approval to the Police Commission at a special meeting Friday.
Joe Gunn, executive director of the Police Commission, said the commission’s Ad Hoc Committee on Flexible Work Schedules had identified problems with payroll and dispatch, but that those problems had been solved.
Public Safety Committee Chair Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski questioned how long it would take for the computer dispatch system to be tested using the template plan.
But Gunn assured committee members that it would take no more than a week for the department to run the tests.
In addition to Miscikowski’s concerns, LAPD Cmdr. Dan Koenig told the committee there are nine things that the department needs to be do to implement the new deployment plan.
Included in that list are training programs for supervisors on all aspects of the schedule and a change in how frequent work loads are predicted, moving from every six hours to every two hours.
Koenig also said the payroll system must switch the payroll system to keep time by hours rather than days and the logistics must be worked out to ensure there are enough patrol cars and radios for each shift, something he said he did not think would be a problem.
Grasso called Koenig’s presentation “melodramatic” and said that all the problems he listed were “solvable.”
“We’ve had cooperation from the Police Commission, the City Council, the mayor,” Grasso said. “It’s disappointing that the department is the only one dragging its feet.”
Grasso said if the flexible work schedule isn’t implemented by Oct. 20, it will be put in place at the beginning of the next deployment period, which starts Nov. 18.
“The officers are looking forward to this and they are adamant that this is something we can make work,” she said.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company