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Contract Negotiations Fail: Lakeville, Police Union Go to Arbitration

After more than a year of talks, the police officer's union and the city are going to arbitration to settle contract depute.

A last-ditch round of bargaining between the city of Lakeville and police union representatives on Dec. 19 failed to resolve any differences. Now, an arbitrator will determine Lakeville’s patrol officers’ contract.

As reported on Lakeville Patch on Dec. 19, there has been disagreement between the police union and the city over pay and benefits as well as internal structures, such as the city’s plan to add a third captain.

According to a recent report in Sun Thisweek, the arbitration process will likely begin in the spring, with a contract in place by May or June.

The current contract actually expired more than a year ago—on Dec. 31, 2011.

When approved by an arbitrator, the new pact would likely run through 2013.

According to the Sun Thisweek report, an arbitrator will be selected by each side after the two groups strike names off a list of seven Bureau of Mediation Services arbiters until one is left. The total process, once an arbitrator is selected, could take around 60 days to complete

Officers are also concerned about the implementation of 12-hour shifts, pay equity, inequities regarding overtime and holiday compensation, and health benefits.

As for taking it a step further—police are considered an essential service, so patrol officers cannot strike.

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