In response to an Oct. 1 letter written and sent to Shawnee city commissioners by the local police union, the city filed a four-count charge with the Oklahoma Public Employees Relations Board against the union.

Details of the four counts make up more than three pages of the eight-page charge, which includes more than four pages of facts and allegations, as offered by the city.


In response to an Oct. 1 letter written and sent to Shawnee city commissioners by the local police union, the city filed a four-count charge with the Oklahoma Public Employees Relations Board against the union.
Details of the four counts make up more than three pages of the eight-page charge, which includes more than four pages of facts and allegations, as offered by the city.
In the statement of facts and allegations section, the charge states the city and the local union are active parties in a collective bargaining agreement that has a grievance procedure, which includes a final step of “binding grievance arbitration to resolve disputes between the parties arising under the agreement.”
The procedure calls for grievances to be filed by the union or any member of the bargaining unit with the police chief. If the issue isn’t resolved, the issue may be taken to the city manager, the charge shows.
If the matter still remains unresolved, grievance arbitration may be requested but the city commission is not to be involved with any step of the grievance adjustment process, according to information listed in the charge.
Continuing with the background information, the facts and allegation section states Ken King, president of the International Union of Police Associations, Local No. 3, bypassed Police Chief Russell Frantz and City Manager Brian McDougal by sending the letter exclusively to commissioners. It also alleges he waited to mail the letter until the Friday before the Oct. 4 commission meeting so “the issues raised in his letter could not be heard” at the meeting.
McDougal was informed about the letter by commissioners Oct. 4 and responded to the union with an Oct. 7 letter requesting evidence of the allegations made in the Oct. 1 letter. An Oct. 12 letter of response was sent to McDougal by King stating the information leading up to the Oct. 1 letter was confidential, the charge claims.
King said the reason evidence wasn’t submitted to the city is because “unions don’t conduct investigations.”
“It’s not our role,” he said. “The reason for the union is so the officer is insulated from retaliation for a grievance being filed. The duty and obligation to investigate is the city’s. They have access to all the information. But they should have done it without it being initiated by us and then report what they found and what they did about it and what they will do to keep it from happening again. We have a right to know if the city is protecting the public.”
In addition to McDougal responding to the initial letter, Mayor Linda Peterson and Vice Mayor Frank Sims responded to it with an Oct. 8 letter advising the issues be raised with McDougal, rather than the commission. King responded to the mayor and vice mayor with an Oct. 13 letter that “continued to discuss details of the issues” raised in the first letter, the city’s OPERB charge shows.
Although the letters haven’t been released, the charge states the union’s Oct. 1 letter “contains assertions” that Frantz “improperly handled” each of the issues and events raised by the union.
“One of the issues raised by Mr. King in his Oct. 1, 2010, letter entitled ‘Issues of concern with the leadership of chief Frantz’ relates to an overtime claim submitted by two officers for approximately one minute of work for which the officers requested two hours of straight time pay,” the charge shows, adding Frantz denied the claim.
That denial did lead to a grievance filing and later, a demand for grievance arbitration, the charge shows. An arbitrator was selected and the city and union were working to resolve the grievance without arbitration when the Oct. 1 letter was mailed.
“The local’s letter to the city commission contained a more detailed statement of the local’s position on the grievance than was submitted by the local and the two officers to the chief of police or the city manager during the grievance adjustment process,” the charge claims.
King said the issue pertaining to the overtime request was a result of officers who had left for duty finding the door of a business unlocked and opened. The officers checked the building to ensure it was secure, which resulted in them working beyond their scheduled shift, he said.
“It’s far more complicated than what [City Labor Attorney] Matt Love is trying to say,” King said. “The language of the contract can go either way but it says if you’re required to go back to work after you’re off, you get two hours straight time...The chief went to extremes to look into this time. We believe they were doing their jobs.”
The four counts in the charge address these issues and each claims the union violated sections of Article 11 of the Fire and Police Arbitration Act. The filing requests OPERB order the union to cease and desist from continuing the practices alleged in the counts.