Team Needs Support

Readers write

April 29, 1992

From: John L. Ogle

President

County Fraternal Order

of Police Lodge 70

"Be a team playerand we will get through this together" -- that's all that my membershave heard from county government for the past three years.

In 1990, we decided to turn over our entire amount of pension money to thecounty, so that it could be reinvested to gain higher returns. It was a big move that other unions within the county refused to do, but we did it to be team players.

In 1991, my members voted to extend our contract, without receiving any additional benefits or raises. We were the first union to do so. And, because of that vote, we were told that county government would not forget us.

In 1992, my members again voted to give five days unpaid, as concessions to help the county through tough economic times. We are acting as team players.

I believe that the manager of this team (County Executive Robert R. Neall) and its coaches (the County Council), should start helping their team players.

During talks of amphitheaters, airports, jails, rainy day funds and other costly projects, the negotiating team for Anne Arundel County F.O.P. Lodge 70, which represents approximately 500 county police, has attempted to negotiate a new contract, with the one-man county negotiating team, Michael Milanowski (director of Employeeand Labor Relations in the county Office of Personnel).

Our No. 1goal was to enhance our antique pension plan to 20 years of service at 50 percent with no age penalty, comparable to the surrounding counties.

F.O.P. Lodge 70 spent a considerable amount of money and time hiring professionals to build a case of a "20 and out" pension thatwould cost the least amount of money to the county. This task, we believed, was accomplished. However, the county still refused our request.

Instead, the county spokesman made it very clear to us that the county believed that the F.O.P. was nothing more than an advocate for the county.

Would advocates do what was mentioned in the first part of this letter? I don't think so. It appears you're only considered a team player when you do what the manager wants you to.

Perhaps it's time that we start thinking about a new manager and new coaches for the team -- ones that will look out for their players as well as themselves.

As president of F.O.P. Lodge 70, I urge all the leaders of community associations and groups in Anne Arundel to look closely and keep a record of voting issues from your leaders, especiallyyour County Council. Have they truly voted on issues that represent your views and feelings, or are they just voting the way the manager of the team wants them to?

Impasse has come and gone for our negotiations, and in May, we will be presenting our case to the County Council.

Please support us in our quest for a "20 and out" pension plan that police in surrounding counties now enjoy. Perhaps if the pension plan was accepted, pension plan incentives would not be necessary.

Your police and the members of Anne Arundel County F.O.P. Lodge 70 deserve a better pension plan. They have probably worked harder than anyone else in the county, considering that the county Police Department is approximately 50 positions down. And until the county findsa way to fill these positions, my members will be expected to pick up the slack and work even harder.

Help us by contacting the CountyCouncil and letting them know you support your police and the pension plan they are seeking.

PRAISE FOR NURSES

From: Lars Egede-Nissen

President

Hospice of the Chesapeake

May 4 through 11 is National Nurses Week, and Wednesday, May 6 is Nurses Day.

I have the distinct honor and privilege of knowing and working with eight of thenursing profession's finest RNs. The registered nurses I refer to work at Hospice of the Chesapeake. I watch them day after day, caring for our county's terminally ill individuals -- from babies to citizensin their 90s. Each patient is given tender, compassionate, skilled care by our Hospice nurses.

I want to publicly thank Margie Blasso RN, Jackie Greene RN, Kelly Jacob RN, Marge Jeffers RN, Michele Krug RN, Eileen Lacijan RN, Sheila Truby RN, and Joan Welton RN. The entire staff at Hospice of the Chesapeake and, I'm sure, hundreds of families in Anne Arundel County who have been recipients of the dedicationof these very special and gifted RNs, send them our thanks and appreciation.

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