PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia officials will announce new contract reforms with the Fraternal Order of Police Tuesday afternoon. Officials will discuss the terms and conditions of employment for Philadelphia’s police officers over a three-year span from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2024.
Mayor Jim Kenney, Deputy Mayor of Labor Rich Lazer, City Solicitor Diana Cortes, and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw will be in attendance to discuss the details of the contract.READ MORE: In-Person Classes To Resume Lindley Academy Charter School On Monday After COVID-19 Outbreak
One of the details of the contract is that it’s revised the discipline code and process for officers who are alleged to have engaged in misconduct in an attempt to increase accountability within the department.
Below are some of the changes to the contract according to the release:
- Revisions to the discipline code to increase the time that discipline remains on an officer’s record, increase penalties for a number of offenses, and add new offenses, including prohibiting officers from fraternizing with members of hate groups.
- Allowing individuals outside the bargaining unit to determine the disciplinary charges to be brought against officers.
- Allowing the police commissioner to use non-sworn or even outside advocates to present the department’s case at the Police Board of Inquiry (PBI), which reviews evidence and evaluates whether the officer is guilty of the identified charges.
- Reforming the composition of the PBI panels to add non-sworn personnel, or even non-City employees, to each panel and remove the officer of the same rank; currently, the PBI is made up of one officer of the same rank and two officers of higher rank.
These changes will allow the city’s police department to incorporate aspects of the Citizen Oversight Commission into the disciplinary process, according to the release. Earlier this year, Philadelphia passed a new budget allocating $2 million that will go toward the oversight committee.
The contract establishes a new arbitration panel solely for police termination cases. The city hopes that the Police Termination Arbitration Board will build public confidence in the grievance and arbitration process.READ MORE: Eagles DE Bandon Graham Suffers Achilles Injury, Sources Tell Derrick Gunn
Below are some details from the release about the PTAB:
- The city and the FOP will appoint an equal number of arbitrators — at least 40% of whom will be people who identify as women, people of color, or other underrepresented groups.
- PTAB arbitrators will have a broader set of experiences than the existing arbitrators who come exclusively from lists maintained by the American Arbitration Association; arbitrators on the PTAB must possess a J.D. or have at least two years serving as a labor arbitrator or as a labor relations professional.
- PTAB arbitrators will go through training before hearing any cases, enabling them to draft fairer awards through an understanding of both the legal standards governing arbitration and the police department’s policies and disciplinary procedures.
In another effort to incorporate more civilian feedback, Philadelphia’s police department will review which responsibilities can be conducted by civilians in order to reduce the cost and deploy officers to areas with the greatest public safety needs. The contract has a process for resolving disputes when the city seeks to move work from sworn officers to civilians when it’s appropriate to do so, according to the release.
Wages will increase by 2.75% for the first year of the contract and 3.5% in the following two years. The contract also provides a one-time bonus of $1,500 and provides the city will forgo paying health insurance costs for covered employees for two months — one in 2021 and the other in 2023.
The cost of those months will be covered instead by the health and welfare fund, according to the release.MORE NEWS: Missed Opportunities Contribute To Eagles 17-11 Loss To San Francisco 49ers
The city will be holding a press conference regarding this at 3 p.m. You can watch it live in the player above or on CBSN Philly.