AHPA files official complaint with Department over campaign practices by FOP.  Click here for the full letter…

September 1, 2006

Roger Vanderpool

Director

Arizona Department of Public Safety

2102 W. Encanto Blvd.

Phoenix, AZ

RE: Campaign Practices Complaint
Against FOP Lodge 32

Director Vanderpool:

It is with regret that The Associated Highway Patrolmen of Arizona (AHPA) feels compelled bring this formal complaint against FOP Lodge 32 regarding that organization’s conduct during the current Meet and Confer campaign.

Specifically, on or about August 15, 2006, FOP Lodge 32 under the alias “DPS Labor Council” sent a mass mailing to DPS employees entitled “Special Edition” which contained multiple misleading and untrue statements regarding both itself and, more seriously, the AHPA.

The clear intent of this mass mailing was to unethically seek to discredit the AHPA as well as dishonor those who have served both DPS and AHPA for more than 20 years and those who continue to serve today.

Since AHPA is comprised exclusively of both sworn and civilian DPS employees, we have assumed that the meet and confer campaigns would be held to the standards of personal and professional conduct to which DPS employees are held. FOP Lodge 32, however, is not comprised exclusively of DPS employees and may lack substantive experience with DPS standards of conduct.

Therefore, upon your review of this material the AHPA asks that FOP Lodge 32 be reprimanded in accordance with Department of Public Safety standards of conduct and provided the appropriate information to assist them in conducting the remainder of their campaign activities.

What follows is a brief summary of statements made by FOP Lodge 32 under the alias “DPS Labor Council” as well as the accurate, factual information:

FOP LODGE 32 STATEMENT: “DPS Labor Council: Representing DPS employees…” and “The F.O.P/DPS Labor Council made this…”

THE FACTS: DPS employees will select from either the AHPA or FOP Lodge 32 as their Meet and Confer representative. According to FOP Lodge 32 bylaws, The “DPS Labor Council” exists as a wholly owned subset of FOP Lodge 32 with no independent authority. Further, civilian employees are precluded from voting in FOP Lodge 32 elections and cannot hold office.

FOP LODGE 32 STATEMENT: “No AHPA action was taken to design a different civilian DROP program.”

THE FACTS: As a result of AHPA initiated meetings with Representative McClure and ASRS, Representative McClure agreed to hold an informational hearing for the purposes of informing members and airing some of the ideas regarding an ASRS DROP.  Informational hearings are a critical and common legislative practice when facing complex issues that require education and discussion as a method of crafting a legislative solution.

It was specific AHPA action on behalf of DPS civilian employees that prompted the redesign effort.

FOP LODGE 32 STATEMENT: “No DPS pay proposal above and beyond the state pay raise was included in the budget.”

THE FACTS: The final DPS budget approved by the legislature contained nearly $3 million for sworn pay. This followed six months of intense and well-known legislative involvement by AHPA that encompassed all aspects of the budget negotiations. This included ongoing meetings with budget negotiators and providing detailed, professional research and review of every budget draft.

FOP LODGE 32 STATEMENT: “No AHPA bill was produced, sponsored or approved to expand retiree health insurance.”

THE FACTS: The AHPA produced and secured the sponsorship of HB 2476, a bill to remove prohibitions against the use of state general fun monies for payments toward an insurance premium for state employees. Working with our prime sponsor, Representative Bill Konopnicki, to expand retiree health insurance, HB 2476 provides a vehicle for interim session stakeholder meetings and negotiations in advance of the next legislative session.

FOP LODGE 32 STATEMENT: “The other organization (AHPA) makes empty promises while the F.O.P produces results.”

THE FACTS: In citing their six legislative “agenda” items, FOP Lodge 32 seeks to misdirect DPS employees on four items, exaggerates their role in one item and only FOP State Lodge fairly claims credit in the remaining item.

1.      FOP Lodge 32 claims credit for “substantial salary increase for all state employees,” however FOP Lodge 32 doesn’t even have a lobbyist – they had to rely on the state lodge to represent their interests.

2.      FOP Lodge 32 claims credit for three pieces of legislation: “substantial catch-up salary improvements,” “DROP for CORP,” and “CORP Re-employment,” all of which pertain primarily to corrections officers, not Department of Public Safety employees.

3.      FOP Lodge 32 exaggerates their claim to credit for 2006 “Meet and Confer” legislation, as FOP Lodge 32 officials did not participate in legislative meetings or hearings.

4.      FOP State Lodge can fairly claim credit for “SB1258” which fixes a glitch in Arizona law so that some retired law enforcement officers can carry concealed weapons under a new Federal law.

Further, FOP Lodge 32 has no independent authority to participate in the legislative process as they are merely a subordinate division of the FOP State Lodge.

FOP LODGE 32 STATEMENT: FOP Lodge 32 seeks to mislead DPS employees, particularly our civilian colleagues, by inaccurately claiming ownership of “meet and confer” legislation when stating: “SB1139 – further clarifies our original DPS Meet and Confer bill, which was passed into law during the 2005 session.”

THE FACTS: The “original DPS Meet and Confer bill” promoted by FOP Lodge 32 never became law – and it is a good thing it did not. FOP Lodge 32 specifically excluded DPS civilian employees from the meet and confer legislation they proposed. Further, FOP Lodge 32 fought against efforts by members of the legislature, AHPA and DPS management to include DPS civilian employees as full partners in the meet and confer process.  Fortunately, FOP Lodge 32 failed in their efforts to prevent DPS civilian employees from representation within the meet and confer process.

A copy of the FOP Lodge 32 material is attached.

Respectfully submitted,

Andy Swann

President

AHPA

Article written by/or information provided by tcamos

The clear intent of this mass mailing was to unethically seek to discredit the AHPA as well as dishonor those who have served both DPS and AHPA for more than 20 years and those who continue to serve today.

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