Letter to the Editor: Milton Police Patrol Association and Milton Police Superior Officers Association seek agreement
We write you today on behalf of the men and women of the Milton Police Patrol Association and Milton Police Superior Officer’s Association.
We have been participating in good faith contract negotiations with the Town since February of 2019. We were the first town unions to commence negotiations. We have negotiated with the Town in a relaxed format, without legal representation present (at a significant savings to the Town).
Our requests in bargaining have been modest and fair. Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we were extremely close to a contract with the Town. Since then, the Town has changed its course. The negotiations have become regressive. While the Town has entered into multi-year agreements with other unions, including Teachers and Managers Union, they refuse to do so with the Patrol Association and the Superior Officers Association. The Town Administrator informed us, “the managers’ union, must be parading their lawyer around on their shoulders for getting them raises”.
The men and women of the Milton Police Patrol Association and Superior Officers Association continue to serve the community with the same dignity, respect, care and commitment that we always have during these very difficult and trying times. We continue to work on the front lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are currently dealing with a significantly higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, than do any other town employees. There have been incidences in the past two weeks where officers were spit on by people claiming to be positive for COVID-19. We respond and enter unknown medical conditions and must still enter people’s homes for calls for service. We do not know what we are being exposed to. We often are called to enter Beth Israel Hospital-Milton. Each time, we are under a heightened risk to catch the virus. That risk also goes home with us to our families.
At this time, we are asking you to clarify your position on a fair contract to our officers. It is obvious that at least some members of the Select Board have no confidence in us, in that you are not advocating for us to receive a fair contract. That is extremely troubling to us all. We did not ask for the Select Board to involve themselves in negotiations. That request came from your board. To balance the cost of a pandemic on the backs of public safety workers is a very ignorant position for the Town to take.
As a matter of transparency, we plan on taking our case for a fair contract, directly to the residents of Milton. We will do this with informational pickets ( conforming to the Governor’s social distancing guidelines) at homes and other public locations, through online and newspaper advertisements and we will contact local media in order to have our message spread to the residents of Milton. We strongly believe that the townspeople do respect us and will advocate with us for a fair contract. We are confident that the residents and voters will not agree with those of you who do not support us.
We hope you are well during this troubling time. And we truly hope you will show us the support that we show everyone in the Town on a daily basis. We all look forward to your response.
Joseph Fahey on behalf of the Patrol Officers of Milton
Michael Collins on behalf of the Superior Officers Association