KOVACS: Police union puts bargaining rights ahead of public safety

The Washington Times

On Nov. 6, Montgomery County voters will decide whether the police chief or the head of the police union should determine public-safety policy.

The voter initiative, which will appear on the ballot as Question B, reads, “Shall the Act to modify the scope of collective bargaining with police employees to permit the exercise of certain management rights without first bargaining the effects of those rights on police employees become law?” A vote in favor of Question B eliminates “effects” bargaining.

The story of Question B began in 2011, when the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed legislation to repeal the union head’s power to challenge, then bargain over, basic police-chief directives. Before the reform, police management needed union approval to implement any new policy. Officers could not even be required to establish email accounts, let alone respond to emails from county residents.