City of Toledo loses Court of Appeals battle against Police union

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The City of Toledo has lost a major battle against its Police Command Officers in the Ohio Court Appeals Sixth District, and now the city could have to pay up.

The Toledo Police Command Officers Association (TPCOA), which represents police sergeants, lieutenants and captains, had a contract with the city.  However, in 2010, the Mike Bell administration faced a major budget deficit and convinced city council to approve forced concessions on several unions, including the TPCOA.

The city eliminated its pension pickup responsibilities and increased the command officers' health insurance co-pays.

"We find that over time, when the wrong decision is made, it has real, meaningful consequences to the city's budget," said City Councilwoman Lindsay Webb, who was one of the few who voted against those concessions.

Councilwoman Webb says the concessions are coming back to haunt the city now.

Last Friday, the Court of Appeals released their ruling, siding with the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, which said the city was wrong to impose the exigent circumstances.

The Court of Appeals judge said he agreed that "Toledo made no reasonable effort to meet the TPCOA part-way before unilaterally modifying the CBA. Toledo did not bargain in good faith, and instead engaged only in surface bargaining.

"Having to pay for the mistakes of a previous administration, who over the advice of council, implemented exigent circumstances without bargaining to impasse, is a shame," said Councilwoman Webb.

The Court of Appeals ruling means the city must make the command officers 'whole' financially for what they had to give back in 2010.

Union President Dan Schultz says this is a potential victory.  No one has provided a dollar amount for what the city might have to pay back, but it could be considerable.

Law Director Adam Loukx says the city is weighing its options in response.

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