Today, the New Orleans Civil Service Commission met for a regular meeting to make up for the missed July meeting (they don’t usually meet in August). There was a rather lengthy docket and agenda, and it was an all day affair. There are three items of note:
First, the FOP is very happy that the Civil Service Commission again ruled in its favor in the matter of Gary Gremillion, et al v. Dept. of Police. This matter addressed the special rate of pay given to officers assigned as ICO’s. The Commission ruled some time ago that the ICO’s essentially performed the same duties as those officers assigned to PIB and should have been receiving the 10% extra pay for performing those functions. The decision was vacated by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal and remanded to the Civil Service Commission on a technicality. Today, the Civil Service Commission again rendered a decision in favor of the effected officers represented by the FOP.
Secondly, with regard to the Great Place to Work Initiative, the Civil Service Department made compelling arguments that complimented arguments made previously by the FOP about the Rule of 3 and the benefits, flexibility, and fairness inherent in the Rule of 3. The comments today were pretty consistent that while we are not opposed to increased efficiency at Civil Service, we are committed to safe-guarding the protections provided to NOPD employees. I will let everyone know what is next for Great Place to Work as soon as we know.
Finally, back in February, the FOP requested the Civil Service Department conduct a pay study relative to the NOPD. Today, the Civil Service Department introduced their police pay study. The pay study indicated that salaries for NOPD employees are significantly lower than they should be. I want to thank John Casbon, the original founder of the New Orleans Police Foundation, and Karen Sepko of the Warehouse District Neighborhood Association for joining me to support pay raises for police. The next step will be for Civil Service to meet with stakeholders in order to develop a plan to submit to the Civil Service Commission in September. Once the Commission has a plan approved, it can be submitted to the City Council. We will keep you all advised of the progress.