Sarasota Police Department Officers Union talks contract negotiation struggles

Sarasota Police will be conducting training for the next few days.
Sarasota Police will be conducting training for the next few days.
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 7:00 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Sarasota Police Department Officers IUPA Local 6045 union held a press conference Monday addressing struggles they’ve had with the City of Sarasota for the 2022-2025 contract agreement. The union has spent the past six months negotiating with the City of Sarasota trying to come to an agreement about the new contract.

The current contract is up in October and the union is pushing for three different aspects of the new agreement. Competitive wages to hire and keep the best officers, anti-discrimination protection to make sure no officer is faced with discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation and good faith in the negotiation process.

Five officers have left the department and have not been replaced within the month of June alone. Officers are concerned about the staff shortage and said it could be putting community safety at risk.

The union’s press conference addressed the lack of communication between the union and the city on all these concerns.

“We understand that not all of our asks are going to be able to be accommodated,” said Eric Urbain IUPA Local 6045. “We just want to set out what our goals are and work together to reach something that’s acceptable for both sides attracting the best top-tier officers we can find.”

The City of Sarasota released the following statement to ABC 7:

“We have been active participants, responded to numerous proposals and listened to the IUPA members during the negotiations. We will continue to do so, as we do not see this as a win or lose proposal but an opportunity for both sides to present information and come to acceptable agreements.”

The City of Sarasota additionally stated that public safety is their highest priority and have approved new officer positions to the city’s budget.

“The City Commission approved the unprecedented addition of ten new police officer positions to the city’s budget, an investment of approximately $1.2 million.” said the City of Sarasota in their statement.

The City stated officers, sergeants and criminalists received pay increases in the past three negotiations that were agreed on by the IUPA Union. The statement also stated that The City of Sarasota does not discriminate and they honor and respect all employees.

“The City of Sarasota does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability or marital status,” said the city in their statement.

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