“City of North Las Vegas refusal to collectively bargain and lack of police staffing”
September 7, 2015
North Las Vegas, Nevada
The City of North Las Vegas management and the North Las Vegas Police Supervisors Association, representing the Police, Marshal and Corrections Sergeants and Lieutenants began to meet in February of 2015 in order to negotiate a new contract for the Police Supervisors Association.
After more than fifteen (15) meetings of contract negotiations, including informal negotiations, the Police Supervisors Association declared impasse on Wednesday, September 02, 2015.
The Police Supervisors Association asked the City their position on fact finding and then arbitration. The Police Supervisors Association is still waiting for the City’s position on the matter.
Sergeant Leonard Cardinale, President of the North Las Vegas Police Supervisors Association said in a statement, “The Police Supervisors Association has bent over backwards, in good faith, to try and find some common ground with the City. The City is refusing to pay current contractual obligations and the City believes they do not have to negotiate with us because they are holding the purse strings. The City is placing the public and all of us at great risk because they are choosing not to adequately staff the Police Department and the Corrections Facility. The City is refusing to provide adequate staffing for personal and political reasons and for a vendetta that has carried over from the last settlement that we conceded to the City of North Las Vegas. A concession negotiated by Governor Brian Sandoval, that in the City’s words, saved the City from being taken over by the State.”
Cardinale explained that the Police Supervisors Association have been advised that the City of North Las Vegas’, “Critical Needs Committee,” which is comprised of Mayor John Lee, Finance Director Darren Adair, Assistant City Attorney Ryann Juden, City Manager Qiong Liu and City Attorney Sandra Morgan are responsible for all of the managerial decisions for the City.
All directors must present their plans and the justification for such plans to the Committee prior to the City taking any actions. The Police Supervisors Association was also advised that the Critical Needs Committee is responsible for denying all of the current promotions both to fill and to back-fill the Police Departments staffing.
“We would like to know why there are no law enforcement representatives on the Critical Needs Committee since they are the ones who are denying our safe staffing levels at the Police Department and denying the public what they are paying for.
They are accountable to the public for their lack of concern for the safety of the citizens,” Cardinale said.
The Police supervisors Association was willing to scale back the pay for newly promoted Sergeants and newly promoted Lieutenants and they were willing to look at reducing benefits, such as, an adjustment for the sick leave buy-back program; they were willing to talk about whether or not longevity would remain in the contract for future hires resulting a long-time future savings. A proposal for the City to pay holiday banks over time, rather than the contractually obligated dates was on the table during negotiations, but the City was not interested in the savings. The Police Supervisors Association was willing to look at reducing the cap on Holiday Banks and reducing uniform allowance to save the City money.
The City is saving millions of dollars per year by their decision not to replace Sergeants and Lieutenants that have retired or left the City for a variety of reason and that is a Failure to Provide Adequate Supervision, and a Failure to Provide Adequate Staffing.
The citizens are not getting what they are paying for in the form of the highest taxes in the State.
Even though the City is still refusing to provide the most basic of financial requests by the Police Supervisors Association, such as, the pay and benefits of the Police Department employees, the Association continues to come to the table in an effort to find solutions to City’s stated financial situation.
The City’s Finance Director, Darren Adair claims a “structural deficit” exists within the City’s financial accounts. A stated “financial” position that, according to Sergeant Leonard Cardinale, has never been proven because it contains forecasts that are more “slanted” than mathematical.
“The City Finance staff has provided some very crafty misdirection when they try to justify their structural deficit, but what it really amounts to is just talking in circles, so that no one has any idea where the deficit came from or where it is headed by the time it is explained,” Cardinale said.
Henderson Police Department, which is the Police Agency in Nevada most like North Las Vegas Police Department staffs eight
(8) Captains, North Las Vegas staffs two (2) Captains; Henderson staffs seventeen (17) Lieutenants and North Las Vegas staffs ten (10) Lieutenants; Henderson staffs thirty-one (31) Sergeants and North Las Vegas staffs twenty-four (24) Sergeants.
North Las Vegas Police Department’s (NWAC) North West Area Command which covers about one hundred and four (104) square miles is operating without a Captain for the first time in the history of the NWAC. North Las Vegas City Manager, Dr. Qiong Liu told the Police Supervisors Association that she is comfortable with the Assistant Chief covering for the NWAC even though the Assistant Chief works out of a completely different Area Command.
The citizens have no representation in the form of a Police Captain, in one of the most populated areas of the City.
City Manager, Dr. Liu and newly appointed Assistant City Manager, Ryann Juden’s lackadaisical attitude toward the safety of the citizens and toward the adequate staffing of the Police Department, is a blaring representation of the leadership of the City. They simply do not care about the safety of the citizens and the image of the City, which bears a negative connotation throughout Nevada and throughout the United States.
Maybe Dr.Liu’s only focus is on her $170,000 “golden parachute” contract which goes into effect if she leaves the City for any reason, along with a lot of other “perks” that the citizens should know about. Not to mention the unconfirmed portion of her contract that supposedly provides Dr. Liu with many future years of retirement money paid into PERS for a job well done in fighting the Police Supervisors Association for the appeasement of some of the powerful people who fuel their lingering vendetta with the their employees.
How can the new Assistant City Manager and several other directors receive raises while the Supervisors are told the City is hurting for money?
How can the City Manager just take a large sum of money and start over somewhere else after wreaking havoc in North Las Vegas?
Maybe it’s what people like that are willing to do anything for their raises that provides a glimpse into the justification of those raises.
The bottom line is that the City of North Las Vegas’ stated budget difficulties are a phantom and the Police Supervisors Association’s always has and always will show a willingness to help the City to the benefit of the citizens. This is a provable fact.
For More Information Contact:
Sergeant Leonard Cardinale