The Fraternal Order of Police has sent a letter to the City Council asking that more financial help be given to officers and firefighters, rather that new spending on domestic partners.
The City Council is set to vote Tuesday night on the controversial issue.
A close vote is expected.
If approved, the city would be following the lead of Collegedale and Knoxville.
Toby Hewett, FOP president, sent this letter:
Honorable Chattanooga City Council Members,
The Fraternal Order of Police is the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 325,000 members in more than 2,100 lodges. We are the voice of those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving our communities. We are committed to improving the working conditions of law enforcement officers and the safety of those we serve.
Rock City Lodge #22 of the Fraternal Order of the Police accepts as true the mission statement of the National Lodge, which in part reads:
“….. to support the improvement of the standard of living and working conditions of the law enforcement profession through every legal and ethical means available….”
As such, we value the notion of equal benefits for ALL of our members. However, we do have serious concerns in regard to the financial timing of the proposed Domestic Partner Benefits extension. As we speak, we are in the midst of pension reform – attributed to rising costs to the City. Our overtime calculations have been drastically reduced – attributed to rising costs to the City. We have retirees who have dedicated their lives to this City who are no longer eligible under the City’s healthcare plan and cannot use the very Employee Wellness Center they helped subsidize – attributed to rising costs to the City. Furthermore, we have ongoing and flagrant pay disparities adversely affecting our members that are leading to rising litigation costs to the City as a result of our repeated unsuccessful attempts to resolve the unfair practices in a fiscally responsible manner.
We firmly believe in the fair and equitable treatment of ALL of our members and support the notion of extended benefits to any of our members. There are serious issues on the table, right now, that adversely affect ALL of our members. We ask that you consider helping us find a balance in resolving the issues at hand in a fair and equitable manner before incurring further financial liability that will only cause these other issues to continue to go unresolved. The fairness you are pursuing here should be equally applied to all the other concerns as well, rather than potentially making them worse. Please consider this before you vote.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #22