The Executive Board met with Chief Chan, Head of Transportation department and his aides at his office at One police plaza on Oct. 14, 2015 at 11am.
I’m proud to say it was a well productive meeting, not only because the chief allowed us talk on various issues affecting members’ life but questions and concerns were addressed. Our first concern is
(1) AUTO COLLISION PROGRAM
First question is the status of Auto Collision program, which started as pilot program in 2014 with 24 agents in 3 commands, but now being extended to other commands and members not getting paid. We were told that our former president Robert Cassar was dully informed about the plan and that he was very enthusiastic about it and no financial compensation was discussed about it then.
The president Sayed Rahim informed the chief that the union is at the bargaining table now and we have presented it as a bargaining chip to the city for compensation for doing extra job and solicited for chief Chan’s support. The chief promised to try his best. He also informed us that the report coming from the field and Inspector Pileck’s office is that traffic agents are doing terrific job in auto collision program and the department is happy about that. The department is going to keep and extend the program .GOOD JOB GUYS.
(2). SAFETY: The issue of dual patrol for level ones was also discussed. The dept is not that enthusiastic in this area, though dept is concern about agents safety, but wanted to rely on pcts commanders to provide adequate safety n prompt response when agents come across irate motorist. Apart from providing marked cars patrolling, he also advised agents to use their common sense and walk away from writing some tickets that looked troublesome . The city doesn’t want to introduce dual patrol in one borough and not in others, that’s double standard, but when the borough of Bx was brought to his attention, where almost 10 agents were assaulted in one month, he promised to take into consideration dual patrol where there’s spike in violence against agents like Bronx after consultation with his aides. The issue of defensive training, carrying pepper spray or baton is an area where the city doesn’t want touch at this time. It needs further study.
(3) UPGRADES. The issue of upgrade was also discussed, where many level ones are doing level II jobs without being upgraded n not getting paid. This problem is being tackled now and a lot of level ones that are qualified or had been passed over for years will be promoted soon, as long as they have good evaluation and doesn’t have open cases. The department has shortages of level Twos to direct traffic, so a lot of level ones will be upgraded soon.
(4) CPR AND MANAGEMENT
Situation where managements are always disrespectful to agents was also discussed. The use of threats and insults will not be tolerated by department and the Chief is going to discuss this with Inspector Pilecki. Respect is a two way street. Respect begets respect.
(5). CONFLICTING ORDERS. Several situations where each command interpreted or misinterpreted directives from 36 Str was also discussed. Also several instances where One police plaza is not aware or vaguely informed what 34str is doing was also discussed. This is problematic to the department but it’s going to be fixed.
We left the meeting with high hopes that traffic agents future looks bright. As I promised you guys I will continue to inform you everything you need to know. When we meet the Police commissioner this week I will keep you informed and when we go to the bargaining table before the end of this month, I will also get back to you. If I know it, trust me you will know it.
Sokunbi Olufemi (Executive VP Local 1182) (Chairman Public Relations Committee