Breaking News
Police Shortage Hits Critical Mass         Troopers Accused in OT Scam         DROP Lawsuit: Judge Rules Against Cops         The Real Reason They’re After Your Pension? Money!         DROP Program Getting Negative Press         Millennials, White-collar Workers Bringing New Life to Unions         New Study Reveals Police Rarely Use Force         Fake Cop Badges are Everywhere         Best Path for a Trim, Healthy Body         Teachers Get 5% After Strike; Victory for Cops, Too!         When is Police “Use of Force” Justified?         Police Unions & the Video Craze         Scary Day for Police Unions         Night Tours Can Hurt Your Health         Stress Weakens Brain Power; Exercise Can Bring It Back         Police Association President Arrests Suspect—On His Street!         An Assault on Common Sense         NYPD Sergeant Acquitted On All Charges         Fingerprint Scanner to Track On-the-job Time         New Jersey Cops Fighting for Their Pensions         Police and Attorney Say “No Way” to Restrictive Use of Force Policy         Jury Is Out On This Police Review Board         A Police Union With Power!         Stressed-Out Officers: Gone After Eight Years         More Union Members in 2017         Police, Fire Lose Court Fight Over Pensions         Baltimore Discovers It Wants and Needs Its Police         VIDEO: Austin Cops Leaving in Droves         Off-Duty Jobs Scam Uncovered         Deputies Demand $500,000 In Back Pay         Stressed Out Officers, Gone After 8 Years         City Scrambles to Save Pensions         Police Boss Gets Jail Time, Rank and File Up In Arms         CONTRACT REJECTED! Younger Officers Upset With High Healthcare Costs         Police Pensions Protected (For Now)         Let’s Support Firefighters; Cops Will Be Next         Man With a Plan         FBI Will Not Investigate Detective’s Homicide         What About “Warning Shots?” The Debate Continues         Dallas 9-1-1 Back On Track         Hope for Pay Raises in St. Louis         VIDEO: NYC Hero Cop Speaks         New Policies on Deadly Force         ALADS Continues Legal Fight Over “Brady” List         Cops Forgo Raise to Keep 4-3 Schedule         One Cop’s Take On Colin Kaepernick         VIDEO: “We Brought Our Brother Home”         LISTEN: No Sleep? You’d Better Fix That!         VIDEO: What Really Happened         ACLU: Detective’s Right to Free Speech Was Violated         Time To Stop the Finger Pointing         If Things Go Bad, You Need a Plan         Dear Anthem Protesters: Police are Not the Enemy         Real Police Facing Private Takeover         Hard Work, Heartache, and a Lot of Love         VIDEO: Harvey’s Horrific Aftermath         VIDEO: Keeping World Leaders Safe         Bill Bratton On the Future of American Policing         Who Will Pay for New Contract?         VIDEO: Detectives Fight Plan to Cut Pensions         Taking Care of Others, Then Our Own         Public Support For Unions is Growing         Minneapolis Considering Residency Incentives         VIDEO: Cop Battling Cancer is Harvey Hero         VIDEO: Dancing With the Cops?         Cops Speak Out Against Use of “Thin Blue Line” by Hate Groups         What Is the Arnold Foundation Hiding?         Decision May Violate Officers’ Rights         Court Deems Evergreen Clause Constitutional         No Raises for Cops; $140M for Stadium         Philly Cops Win $8M O.T. Settlement         We Condemn Nazis and White Supremacists         Mounties Face Crisis, No Solution in Sight         Push to Oust Louisville PD Chief Intensifying         CSLEA is Newest Member of PubSecAlliance         Ford is Fixing the Problem         “It’s Been An Honor to Work With Chief Marshman”         Automatic Dues Collection Under Attack         Cops Use Video to Go for Pay Raise         Understaffed Leads to Rise In Crime         R.I.P. Deputy Haak         Ruling On Body Cams: Use Must Be Negotiated         Rochester Police Locust Club (NY) Joins PubSecAlliance         Officer Acquitted Of Negligent Homicide         Texas Cops Oppose Anti-Union Bill         Insults Divide, Decency Unites         FOP Prez Threatened, Police Investigate         VIDEO: Sergeant’s Indictment Prompts Outpouring of Support         VIDEO: Sounding the Alarm On a Manpower Crisis         VIDEO: Dramatic Body Cam Footage!         VIDEO: Police Union Advises Action Amid “Breaking Point”         VT First State to OK Compensation for PTSD         Officer Suicides: Agencies Must Do More         Outsiders Clamor for Police Contract Changes         Governor Furloughs Workers, Hits the Beach         Recruit the Best at U.S. Army Reserves         VIDEO: Sergeant Charged With Murder 2         R.I.P. Officer Korchak         More Officers Taking Own Lives         Pride in Honoring Our Own         A Tale of Two Chiefs         New Accountability System Gives Civilians More Power         Police Unions Call for “Rational Voice”         Texas Moves to Save Pensions         City Refuses to Pay Officer’s Legal Bills         Rank and File Question Dubious Hiring         The Mounties Have Never Had to Contend With a Union         Police Week: Anguish, Anger, Empathy         Rookies Sue for OT Pay During Academy Training         FLSA Pay Ruling: Use Cash, Not Benefits         Record Crowd Attends Annual Candlelight Vigil         Everyone Needs Sleep, Especially Cops         Questions Raised About New John Jay President         Hennepin County Sheriff Joins NYPD Shield Program         Big Surprise: Paper Misrepresents Contract Talks         County Budget Leaves Us Underfunded         VIDEO: Omaha Unions Say No to Gov         City Says “No Police Floats” In Parade         One-Minute Man         Is This the Solution to Cop Shootings?         Ingredients for Better LE Outcomes         Why the Police Need Unions         Mounties Demand a Union & Contract         Indebted to Some Very Brave People         We’ve Been Abandoned by Politicos, Command Staff         VIDEO: The Most Hated Man In Pensionland         Underfunded Pensions: a Disaster Waiting to Happen         Another Ambush Attack!         Today, It’s You; Tomorrow, It’s a Security Guard         VIDEO: NJ Police May Get Control of Unfunded Pensions         Thousands of Officers to Get BIG Bonuses         Improving Economy Hurts LE Recruitment         Another Fundraising Scam         Threats to Police Retirement Programs Escalate         Conflict Rises, Billboards Go Up         NJ Unilaterally Changing Police Contract         Pensions Slowly Being Reduced and Replaced         Baltimore Chief: “No More Plainclothes”         When Will All This Stop?         Top Police Union Leader Joins Protest         VIDEO: “Line of Duty” is HERE!         Chicago Cops Get Thanks They Deserve         Mayors Missing as Pension Fund Goes Down         Pension Bill Draws Protest         Deputies Association Hires High-Powered PR Exec         Finally, a Contract for NYPD Officers         Nebraska Corrections Officers Seek Out F.O.P.         Outrage Grows Over Pension Plans in Peril         Sanctuary Cities: Police vs. Mayor         Police Unions Seek to Overhaul Obama’s Reforms         Super Bowl Security         Look Hard at Your Pension Fund         Pension Mediation Talks Cease; Lawsuit Looms         How Much Would You Pay for Policing?         Hazardous Workplace         Officers Leaving in Droves         Technology, Police, and Privacy         Fake Guns Destroy Lives         War Against Unions Gaining Ground         Washington D.C. Police Union in Turmoil         Teamsters Face 20% Cut in Pension Benefits         Body Cam Screw-ups Lead to Mistrial         VIDEO: Body Cam Catches Shootout         Restraining Order for Black Lives Matter Leader         New Chief Has Fight On His Hands         Pension Panic Spreads         Carrots and Sticks         Another Agency May Fold         Community and Police Join in Prayer         VIDEO: We Are There For You!         Feds Seek Repeat of Disastrous Police Hiring Practices         VIDEO: Officer’s Gift of Kindness Keeps on Giving         Is Trump Going After Collective Bargaining Rights?         Police Union Not “App”y         Police Union Fights Back Against Budget Cuts         Police Union Reinstates Body Cam Program         Citizen Wants Officer Fired for FB Post         VIDEO: Use of Force Policy Fiasco         Attacks on Law Enforcement         VIDEO: Where Is the Outrage?         Millions May Lose Overtime Pay         Mayor Violates Officer’s Right to Due Process         VIDEO: Police Union Heals With Song         State Moves to Nix Benefits From Collective Bargaining         City, Officer Cleared in Wrongful Death Case         Trump Puts OT, Benefits On Chopping Block         VIDEO: A World Without Law Enforcement         VIDEO: Shake It Off         HUGE Refund for AZ Public-Safety Pensioners         Eloquent Goodbye         Cheerleader In Chief         The Trouble With Trauma         Shocking News About Local Gov Pension Funds         See You In Court!         One of the Good Guys         Chief Resigns After No-Confidence Vote         Zika Virus Hits Cops         Iowa Officers Ambushed         Policing the Police         For Real Community Policing, Let Officers Do Their Jobs        
By October 23, 2013 Read More →

$3 million dollar win

THEY DID THE JOB FOR THEIR COPS. From left to right, Adrian Pina CLEAT Vice President, Jim Jopling CLEAT Staff Attorney, Alyssa Perez Cleat Staff Attorney, and Ron Martin, president of the El Paso Municipal Police Officers Association and CLEAT Region 4A Director

THEY DID THE JOB FOR THEIR COPS. From left to right, Adrian Pina CLEAT Vice President, Jim Jopling CLEAT Staff Attorney, Alyssa Perez Cleat Staff Attorney, and Ron Martin, president of the El Paso Municipal Police Officers Association and CLEAT Region 4A Director


This was the most expensive battle in the 55 year history of the El Paso Officers Association. Does your association have a similar story? If so, let everyone know in the comments section below.

It started on April 12, 2011, the beginning of one of the biggest and most expensive battles that the El Paso Municipal Police Officers Association has ever faced in its 55 years of existence. It began with a simple email from the chief budget officer for the City of El Paso. It was sent to the police executive staff with a courtesy copy to the president of the Association. Just over 19 months later that simple email and others will have cost the City of El Paso just over $3 million dollars to fix a problem that could have been corrected if officials would have just listened to our objections which were grounded in the law.

Like most cities in Texas, El Paso pays its police officers on a wage scale average of other cities of similar size and financial makeup. This market approach has been accepted by numerous labor organizations along with city governments across the country because of its ease of understanding and fairness to both sides. It has given both sides a workable strategy to plan for future growth and stay competitive within the law enforcement market. There is, however, a flaw in the model.

El Paso police officers are always being compared to other officers around the state because of our exceptional training and excellent track record in various national crime polls. But our officers have always had substandard pay and benefits because of the lower standard of living that predominates in the towns around our city which are used as a means of deciding what we will earn.

The salaries of our officers are considered comparable to seven other cities in the southwest — Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, Tucson and Albuquerque — but if you use a dollar for dollar comparison our officers’ pay ranks 20 percent below the poorest city on the scale.

The police association has realized that fact for years and has attempted to keep El Paso officers within the medium of all seven cities as noted in our contract.

The problem arose when other financially desperate cities started furloughing officers, cutting pay and violating collective bargaining or meet and confer agreements back in 2009 and 2010. It was an attempt to balance budgets on the backs of first responders.

The City of El Paso weathered the crash of the stock market very well during that time thanks to our city leaders and the support they got from all the city employees in El Paso. It is important to note that the police union agreed with two MOU’s that saved the City of El Paso almost $3.17 million over  two years.

Currently the El Paso Police Department’s uniformed staffing level is at a 13 year low. Not since 1999 has there been so few cops protecting this city.

Even with all our support and the cut backs, the city’s financial leadership tried their best to use immoral tactics to manipulate the numbers so they could further reduce our pay below the medium range.

When you attempt to use the financial misfortune of others for your own gain something is wrong.

The El Paso POA made the decision to not tolerate any further pay cuts or benefit reductions. After several attempts to correct the problem, we filed a grievance to stop them. For one year the city ignored us but we kept up the pressure. Finally they faced the problem and admitted they were at fault.

“When the City of El Paso miscalculated its police officers’ pay scales, CLEAT was there to prosecute the EPMPOA’s grievance,” noted El Paso CLEAT Attorney Jim Jopling. “After marathon negotiations, the city agreed to settle the dispute on very favorable terms and pay its police officers over $1.2 million in back pay and benefits. The back pay includes  overtime, shift differential pay and benefits.”

Another issue arose during the grievance procedure that worried many officers was that in addition to underpaying patrol officers, some members of the command staff were overpaid in 2012. As a result of the settlement, no officer who was overpaid will have to pay any of that money back.

The total cost for the errors to the city for all their miscalculations came in at $3 million dollars. This does not include the man hours it took to correct the pension contribution errors.

This issue was not just about a miscalculation in financial matters, it was more about city management ignoring the elected leadership of the El Paso POA and all the officers that we represent.

One thing many upper echelon managers forget is that they are all  replaceable and at the end of the day they do report to the employees. We don’t work for them, they work for us. Police officers work for the citizens of El Paso not management and in turn the association works for its members.

The collective bargaining agreement is not subject to interpretation by management. The basic facts of fair labor practices are pretty straight forward. When city officials start to believe that they are better than others or smarter based on their position or title, they fall harder when their time comes and it always does.

This victory is not about financial gain or bragging rights because we won, it’s about the basic principles of equality and honesty and our hard fight for those principles paid off for our members and our city.

Submitted by Ron Martin, president of the El Paso Police Officers Association.

If your association has a similar story, win or loose, we want to hear about it. Send your story to

Posted in: Pay Wars

Comments are closed.