Union President Says Cops Are Working With Taxpayers To Curb Costs

Fraternal Order of Police, Plantation Lodge #42

Mr. Nevins, For the record, Id like to address 3 issues you wrote about.

1. City employees do not get an automatic raise.

Raises for non-union General Employees are formulated during the budget process. Raises for the only Union(FOP)employee whom are the Police Officers/Sergeants, are carefully negotiated in the 3 year Collective Bargaining Agreement. Fact, ALL Plantation employees were subject to a pay freeze in fiscal year 2009-2010.

2. We are all aware the citizens are questioning the pension plans in all municipalities.

FACT, the police officers and general employee pension plans have developed 2nd Tiers which on the police side, will net a savings of $9.5 million dollars over 10 years.

Time and time again I hear that the public sector pensions are way higher than the private sector. This was historically done to compensate (as a benefit) the lower salaries of those employees. But now that the economy has tanked, our salaries tend to excede the private sector. As far as pension cost increases, everyone has been hurt by the economic downturn, including the funds in those plans but it has not been catastrophic.

In regards to any increases in pension benefits, any increases are meticuously & actuarily studided for costs and sustainability in the future. They are not just given. All pensions in Plantation have Pension Boards with employees & city officials on it along with extensive portfolio management teams and legal assistance.

3. As far as reingning in benefits, many things have been done with the help of the employees to lessen the burden on the taxpayer(and I am a Plantation Resident) to include increased healthcare costs & premiums, elimination of out of network coverage in health plans, increase prescription costs and elimination of Longevity pay to name a few.

You are correct that there is a volunteer fire department and because of the dedicated work of those volunteers, the citys millage rate is so low and more than likely would be 2 mils higher.

By no means am I complaining about my pay and or benefits. But, when a broad stroke is painted about goverment employees and the city, the facts should be known that the employees and city are working together to help. The men and women of the City of Plantation will always be ready to serve and protect its citizens.

Joseph J. Mercogliano – President Fraternal Order of Police, Plantation Lodge #42

(FROM BUDDY:  Mr. Mercogliano sent this as a comment to the previous post on Plantation. 

His explaination of Plantation’s employee pay and benefits was so educational and articulate that I believed it deserved it own post.  Unlike the stereotype of public employees, Mr. Mercogliano appears to understand that we are all in this fiscal mess together.)

10 Responses to “Union President Says Cops Are Working With Taxpayers To Curb Costs”

  1. Bad Ethics says:

    Unions hold undue influence over elected officials and candidates for office because unions endorse the candidates that promise to support their agenda for better pay, benefits and working conditions. Those that do not promise have little chance of being endorsed and that makes getting elected much harder. This is very clearly a quid pro quo on endorsements. It’s unethical and it costs society many millions of dollars each year.

    Some worry about the influence of private sector lobbyists on elected officials. However the quid pro quo between officials and lobbyists has been ignored even though it amounts to blackmail. Unions are very clearly lobbyists. Ethics rules should preclude officials from seeking or accepting endorsements from unions under contract with any form of government.

    Labor negotiations should be based on objective analysis never on fear of political retribution. The cost to society for allowing unions to blackmail our public officials is enormous. It makes private sector lobbyist concerns a joke in comparison. It requires serious attention and ethics rules to stop the quid pro quo that has always existed but been ignored. Stop the blackmail.

  2. Speed Trap says:

    Why doesn’t Mercogliano and his fellow cops just give out more tickets and then they can pay themselves more?
    The city is a major speed trap. The only “criminals” they can catch is some poor guy going 4 miles over the speed limit.

  3. S only says:

    I thought you had to be going 9 or 10 miles over the speed limit to get a speeding ticket. (except maybe for school zones at certain times). Is there someone out there who can clarify?

  4. Our Problem says:

    No new city employees, including police, should be hired with a pension. They should only get a matched 401K like the rest of the world. If they don’t like it, there is always Wackenhut

  5. Reality says:

    A speed limit is a maximum, not a minimum or a suggested speed. That being said, I defy you to document a person getting a ticket for going 4 miles over the limit except perhaps in a school zone.

    To Mr. “Our Problem”: Until you are willing to go to work every day carrying at least one gun, and wearing a bullet resistant vest because you never know when you may be shot at, perhaps you should reserve your opinion on the pay and benefits and consider that those making theose decisions actually have a little more insight.

  6. Our Problem says:

    By Reality’s logic, we taxpayers should agree to pay police anything they ask for because they are in a dangerous profession.
    Get over it.
    The most dangerous jobs are fisherman, farmer and construction worker. These jobs are paid far, far less than cops.
    Police do a necessary job and do protect. They doesn’t mean they should get anything they ask for.

  7. Mike says:

    I don’t disagree what reality says, but what’s good enough for our soldiers in Afghanistan should be good enough for a plantation police officer.

  8. Reality says:

    Mike, you are correct. Our soldiers have a defined benefit plan, not a 401k. Their pay, adding in the free room, food, and clothing, approximates what cops get.

  9. You Must Be Kidding says:

    Cops in Plantation are nothing like soldiers in the Middle East.

    First of all, in the entire nation less officers were killed than a month or two in the Middle East.

    “The number of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2009 was the lowest in 50 years, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), which released its preliminary 2009 statistics last week. The fund, a non-profit group, reported that 125 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2009, down 6 percent from last year and the lowest number since 1959.”

    Second, officers go home every night. Soldiers are in the Middle East in danger every moment of the day and night.

    Third, officers have their wives and children. The local gym. Publix. The American way of life right here. It is not at all like being a soldier in the Middle East.

    Agreed,Plantation police officers deal with some very tricky situations. However, Plantation is not Harlem or even Liberty City.

    No one is saying change the benefits for existing officers. It is only new hires that benefits should be modified. If nobody applies for the new jobs, then it can be changed. I would bet that new officers would grab the jobs no matter what the benefits and pay.


  10. Reality says:

    So, departments have a hard time filling their ranks with qualified people now (do you have any idea of the screening requirements for the job?) but if they lower the pay or benefits, they will have MORE qualified people applying?