St. Louis City police officers have entered into a first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the city.
Jeff Roorda is a former state representative and current business manager for the police union. He says the agreement removes the main barrier the department had against local control.
“We’ve resisted city control for years and that was because we needed to have a place to resolve our differences and in the past that’s been the state legislature," Roorda said. “Now, we have a union contract and arbitration where we can resolve those differences.”
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay called the three-year contract “fair” and good for both police officers and citizens.
“This comes at a time when unions are under attack all over the nation,” Slay said. “We’re here to show the people of St. Louis and throughout the country that collective bargaining is a good thing and something that we are pleased to be doing here today.”
With the contract in place, the Police Officers' Association says it will support state legislation returning control of the department to the city. That law was blocked during the last legislative session.
If that continues to be the case, Mayor Slay says voters could be asked to decide the matter through an initiative petition.