Miami-Dade PBA calls off negotiations with county - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Miami-Dade PBA calls off negotiations with county

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DORAL, Fla. (WSVN) -- Miami-Dade's Police force may see drastic layoffs soon as a cost-cutting measure.

Representatives of the Miami-Dade Police Department met with the mayor's office and budget officials Monday morning for the first collective bargaining negotiation. However, no negotiation began, and the meeting was called off early because the Police Benevolent Association, representing the Miami-Dade Police Department, objected to the county's lead negotiator, Tyrone Williams.

The PBA said there was a conflict of interest because Williams was the PBA's former general counsel. They said he knows the ins and outs of the police department and the PBA and could therefore potentially use that against them in negotiating on behalf of the county.

They also said Williams is putting his legal license on the line by representing the opposite party. "I believe that what I am doing is within the guidelines of the Florida Bar," said Williams. "I was not with the PBA since 2001, 2002, so it's been a 12-year period."

The Office of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the county is working with a $140 million budget deficit, which means every department is facing cuts. The lack of money has left Miami-Dade Police and 24 other departments short-staffed and over-budget. More than 400 Miami-Dade Police Department jobs are now on the line.

The county presented a proposal Monday morning, calling for 295 layoffs when it comes to sworn officers and 39 civilian layoffs. The proposal would save about 100 jobs, but the PBA would have to agree to certain concessions. The county's lead negotiator, which is Williams, said, "Miami-Dade County is going to request that premium pay be eliminated, such as hazardous duty, the four percent FDLE and the first responder requesting random drug testing for officers, the elimination of the 350,000 annual insurance payment, elimination of the three pay-period promotional requirement, body scans only given if deemed medically necessary."

Those are some of the concessions the PBA and Miami-Dade County would have to agree to in order to move forward with the county proposal and save more than 100 jobs in the police department.

Miami-Dade PBA President John Rivera said, "We have made more concessions than anybody else with the promise that we would make no more concessions."

The mayor is expected to present the 2014-2015 fiscal year budget next month.

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