|JOHN RIVERA, PBA President
Who said thievery doesn’t pay?
Our long-standing fight against Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez was a long fought, bittersweet victory. No Mayor within the State of Florida can ever act the way Gimenez did when he lost the vote for the health insurance increase. His action was as disingenuous as it gets, especially after he agreed that the Commission’s actions would be final. When he lost, he vetoed their original decision and put pressure on them to change their vote, which lead to the taking of 4% for the period of February thru September 2012. Anyone hired after September 2012 was never affected by this.
The PBA forged a new trail and sued on the basis of the Mayor’s inability to be part of the negotiation team, and veto the legislative body after not liking their decision. How many bites at the apple does he get? I know he wants every bite, but that’s not how it works. As insanely crazy as this next part will sound, it’s the law of the land. The PBA won the case overall at the 1st District Court of Appeals, in Tallahassee, which was a landmark victory. Then the County failed at their attempts to have the Florida Supreme Court take up their appeal, and then when the Public Employees Relations Commission got the case back to remedy the situation, the hearing officer agreed with our position, but the Governor’s handpicked 3-member panel overrode his decision and ruled to simply tell the mayor never to do it again; oh, and keep the monies “illegally” taken from the employees.
Imagine a thief stealing your car; you know who did it and the courts telling the crook not to steal again, but keep the car. WTF?! Well, that’s what happened here. My fellow brother and sisters, this is yet another example of why it is so important for us to do what we can to make sure we help elect the right Mayor, the right Governor, and so on; even the right State Attorney, as evidenced by the recent wrongful indictments. The phrase, “justice isn’t always fair” couldn’t be more true than in this situation.
Dump it on LEO’s
When social services fails to do their jobs, law enforcement is forced to deal with it; when mental health services fail to do their job, law enforcement is forced to deal with it; when the judicial system fails to do their jobs, law enforcement if forced to deal with it; when the school system or the family structure fails to do their jobs, law enforcement is forced to deal with it; and so. You get the idea!
To top it all off, crime has been going down, in spite of the fact that most departments are working extremely shorthanded. So, why is it so difficult for some elected officials, such as the City of Hialeah, to show a small amount of appreciation and stop dragging their feet when it comes to collective bargaining? Lack of funding - not so quick, the recent property values indicate that Hialeah is
reaping one of the highest value increases in the entire county. It’s a lack of spinal power, a lack of respect, and yes, I’ll say it a lack of knowledge of the job. But, some will argue that is not the case in Hialeah for the mayor is a retired cophimself. Well, he suffers from amnesia then.
No doubt other weak leaders will follow that unsupportive style with a multitude of excuses, but we will deal with each one individually.
Speaking of bargaining and exposing the bad, we must also highlight the good ones who came to a fair contract with the PBA members, such as the city of Sunny Isles Beach, Bay Harbor Islands, Florida City, Homestead, and South Miami to name a few.
Fallen Officer Tribute
Once again, we will be setting up the Fallen Officer Tribute in the lobby of the 111 Building beginning at the end of August and running through the end of September. Be sure to take a moment and stop by to pay respect to our fallen and to see the tribute itself. It will get to your core. We hopes it helps our elected leaders to be reminded of the sacrifices made.
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