Annapolis police reject contract bid Union defers vote against mayor

August 12, 1993|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Staff Writer

The union representing Annapolis police yesterday unanimously rejected the latest contract offer from city officials but postponed a no-confidence vote on Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins.

Police Sgt. John Mellon, chief union shop steward for Local 400 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, said the no-confidence vote "will be deferred to a later date."

The 50 assembled union members approved, 44-6, a no-confidence vote against Police Chief Harold Robbins.

"The guys cited lack of leadership and a lack of support," Sergeant Mellon said.

"We don't believe he's supportive," added Jim Lowthers, the union's secretary-treasurer, when asked about the chief. "The guys just won't put up with it anymore."

Mr. Lowthers faulted the chief for not pushing hard enough for disability benefits and shift scheduling.

Chief Robbins, who is out of town and could not be reached for comment, has held the post for three years.

Sergeant Mellon said the city's four unions have agreed to meet and interview candidates for the city's mayoral and aldermanic races and then decide who to endorse.

Sergeant Mellon said there is "strong support" among police for former Democratic Mayor Dennis M. Callahan, who is running in November as an independent.

Police are "hostile" about the contract negotiations, he said, adding, "They're ready to fight."

The City Council rejected in June a study recommending a 5 percent raise in each of the next two years. Instead, it approved a 2 percent raise for this year, effective July 1.

Other issues angering the union include reductions in partial disability benefits for police and changes in how promotions are made.

The city has called for changes in health care coverage. Union officials said the changes would cost their members an extra $1,000 a year.

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