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Centralia City Council tables new contract with FOP patrolman over 12 hour shift concerns

Centralia City Council tables new contract with FOP patrolman over 12 hour shift concerns

The Centralia City Council Monday night tabled action on a two-year contract agreement with the city’s patrolmen over questions about including 12-hour shifts in the contract.

Councilman David Sauer raised the first question.

“Concerned about fatigue.  I know we aren’t talking about changing shifts around every several months and things like that.  But realizing what we are doing with these 12-hour shifts is allowing or making it possible for our FOP to have 2nd jobs and then not having the ability to shift back from 12-hour shifts concerns me.  And I hate to give up that management right.”

Sauer also feared changing away from a 12-hour shift could lead to arbitration, something City Manager Lowell Crow doesn’t anticipate.

“I have come from units that use both 8 and 12-hour shifts.  I will tell you the 12-hour shifts we get more people on it.  There have been studies that it’s better for patrol, it raises morale, it’s better for retention.”

But when City Attorney Doug Gruenke said it may be possible the issue could go to arbitration or result in an unfair labor complaint, the council agreed to table the contract for further discussion.

The contract would include a one-percent raise each of the two years of the agreement which did not draw any concern.