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The Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (O.P.B.A)

Meet Your New Executive Director

On June 5, 2014 the OPBA Executive Board unanimously elected me to be Executive Director beginning August 4, 2014.  I want to thank the Executive Board and former Executive Director Jeff Pedicino for their confidence and endorsement.

I am currently employed as a Police Sergeant in the City of Twinsburg in Summit County.  The City of Twinsburg is located approximately 20 miles southeast of Cleveland and approximately 20 miles north of Akron.

During my almost 20 year career, I have had a wide variety of training and experience.  I have been a member of the United States Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force, Juvenile Diversion Officer, Field Training Officers and Public Information Officer to name a few.  My current assignment is to a twelve hour dayshift on road patrol.

The police department I work at has experienced the same problems many members of the OPBA have.  We have experienced major population growth in the 1990’s to a car manufacturer closing in the 2000’s.  We also experienced municipal tax increases, threats of personnel layoffs and unfortunately a loss of a police officer in the line of duty.

I have been an OPBA Director in my department since 1999 and a member of the Executive Board since 2010.

Finally, I am proud to serve you, the members of the OPBA.  I look forward to continuing a long tradition of quality representation to our members.


The OPBA made endorsements during the last election cycle.  We were successful in two  out of three endorsements to statewide candidates.  Congratulations to Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy and Attorney General Mike DeWine on their re-elections.


It is the time of year to consider worthy officers to nominate for the 22nd annual Top Cop Awards.  This event is sponsored by our national representative NAPO in Washington D.C.  The

event is scheduled during National Police Week and takes place May 12, 2015.  Please visit opba.com for a nomination form.


I want to thank the staff of the OPBA for the help and guidance that they have given to me during my transition to Executive Director,  Unfortunately people don’t see how hard they work for the OPBA on a daily basis.
Since this will be our last magazine issue of 2014, I want to wish all of you and your families Happy Holidays and a great New Year.

 

Stay Safe!

 

Win a Harley

 

The Risk No One Wants to Talk About

Are you going to run out of money?

Most investors perceive risk in terms of the dollar amount they will or have lost over a relatively short period. They also perceive future risk in terms of events they worry could occur, such as a stock market crash, Treasury yields soaring because of the federal debt, or a global war or catastrophe.  It's easy to understand why: These risks are easy to identify and potentially quantify.

What is much tougher for us to wrap our heads around is risk from the standpoint of longevity. This is the possibility of outliving your savings. From a purely financial standpoint, it is the key definition of risk you should be most concerned with.

The good news is that most police officers are able to retire with a strong pension, but will that be enough?  Also, DROP has been added into the picture to create a nice nest egg to be used to supplement your pension in retirement.  When you add DROP to your deferred compensation or other retirement accounts you were able to save on your own, you could be in a good position to have your assets more than last your lifetime.  However, excessive distributions and improper management of your funds can have a negative impact on accomplishing that important feat.

What are you doing to help ensure you have saved enough and managed your portfolio in a manner that provides an adequate level of income on an inflation-adjusted basis in retirement?  The decisions that you make throughout your career—including what you save, how long you work, how you allocate your portfolio and whether or not you panic during times of market turbulence— could help ensure you do not outlive your assets.  In many cases, having professional guidance can really help take the emotion out of investing during turbulent market times.  Too many times we see people in retirement that have too much of their assets at risk, even though they may not need or desire the potential high returns they could get by being solely in the market.

Unfortunately, whether our money will last our lifetimes isn’t always top of mind.  Our minds don't do well with big numbers that are far out in the future.  We think in the short-term and we don't do well with big, uncertain events. We certainly don't like thinking about exactly how many years we'll spend in retirement before the grim reaper comes or what our medical expenses might be like.  It's simply easier to focus on potential risks that are currently more identifiable.

Having a properly allocated, diversified retirement portfolio could help prevent you from outliving your assets.  Do you need help in crunching the numbers based on your pension, living expenses, age and retirement assets?  If so, feel free to give us a call so we can help you get a better feeling on the longevity of your money.

Lineweaver Financial Group • 9035 Sweet Valley Drive, Valley View, OH 44125
216.520.1711 • OhioRetire.com

Securities offered through Sigma Financial Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC. Lineweaver Financial Group is independently owned and operated. Diversification does not guarantee against loss or ensure a profit; it is a method used to help manage risk.

 

The Case In Favor Of Shift Differential At The Bargaining Table

Late Fall and early Winter are “bargaining season” for most public sector employees.  The reality is that a wise advocate (for either the employer or the union) will approach bargaining, not only through how his client sees it, but also through the prism of how a factfinder or a conciliator would analyze and reasonably determine the parties’ open issues.  An even wiser advocate will recognize that there are fundamentally two basic types of neutrals.

UNDERSTAND YOUR NEUTRAL

Neutrals are human beings and like judges, juries, or sporting event officials, they have their own particular preconceived notions, biases, and inclinations.  One can drive himself to lunacy trying to “predict” how a particular neutral will rule on a particular issue based on the neutral’s past rulings.  Rather than engaging in such a frustrating exercise, it is far more beneficial to recognize that some neutrals are process-based neutrals and others are truly fact-based neutrals.

In this author’s opinion, process-based neutrals are primarily focused the process of the statutory impasse resolution procedure to obtain a contractual result that the parties can ultimately live with.  These neutrals generally seek to drive the parties toward middle ground and focus on the concept of “acceptability” by the parties.  During the factfinding process, the notion of acceptability is important for eventual purposes of ratifying the factfinding report; but the concept of acceptability is also important in the context of conciliation.  Once a conciliator issues an award, the parties must live with that result.  This could work out splendidly for one or both parties, or could result in significant undesirable strife in the labor-management relationship, depending on the nature of the issue and the effect of the conciliation result.

Fact-based neutrals tend to be less focused on acceptability and the results of unacceptability.  They are generally more concerned with strong objective rationale which is based on quantifiable or thoughtfully studied evidence in order to reach the correct result, whatever that may be.  As such, there is a greater likelihood for one party or another to “win big” or “lose big” with a fact-focused neutral, based on what the relevant evidence actually reveals.

Neither approach to the factfinding and conciliation process is entirely right or entirely wrong.  One suspects that most neutrals would probably claim that they are concerned with both the process to achieve acceptability and strong factual rationale, but the reality is that each neutral has his own traits and it is important to understand what tends to motivate the neutral’s decision-making process.

SHIFT DIFFERENTIAL ANALYZED AS A BARGAINING ISSUE

Shift differential is an item in law enforcement bargaining that serves three potential purposes, depending on how one looks at the issue.  First, it is a vehicle for additional compensation.  Second, it is a way to monetarily incentivize an employee to seek a less desirable shift where there is a clear need for that work to be performed.  Third, it is arguably a factually-justified attempt to make employees whole for the physical and lifestyle sacrifices that employees make when working night shifts.

The first two rationales may resonate with a process-based neutral in order to achieve overall acceptability by the parties.  This is a way to achieve additional economic influx to a collective bargaining agreement in order to garner ratification from the union.  It may end up being a desirable method of distributing the ultimate monetary value of a contract from the employer’s perspective because an employer may not be subjected to eventual liability for shift differential with others of the employer’s bargaining units, which are not 24-hour per day operations.  We refer to this as immunizing the employer from “internal comparability” problems.

The first and second rationales may not achieve union victory with a fact-based neutral, but the third rationale might.  In order to put together a convincing case in favor of achieving a shift differential with a fact-based neutral, one must present strong evidence, not merely the argument of “the next city over gets it, so we should too.”  That is simply not a good argument for a neutral who is focused on the facts and seeking persuasive evidence.

So, here are the facts:  a minority of law enforcement agencies in Ohio have some sort of shift differential system.  In Cuyahoga County, the state’s most populous county, only 42% of police departments have a shift differential.  For some reason grounded in decades of bargaining history, there seems to be even less of a likelihood for shift differential among county sheriff’s offices.

Based on the legitimate facts at hand, the number of police officers, sheriff’s deputies, corrections officers, and dispatchers who have shift differential should increase.

THE SCIENCE OF SHIFT WORK

For our purposes, “work” is that which one does for the benefit of an employer which he or she would otherwise not do but for the worker being adequately compensated.  This begs the question, what is adequate compensation for working abnormal hours and how does one factually justify that compensation?

The human circadian rhythm is clearly designed for activity during the day and sleep at night.  Police work, corrections work, and dispatch work, do not neatly fit into those biological requirements.  That work must be performed to insure order in society, but at what physiological cost to the worker?

A study released in November of 2014 in the scholarly journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that years of working night shifts prematurely ages the human brain.  The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Swansea in Wales and the University of Toulouse in France.  Approximately 3,200 participants were tracked over ten years.  They were periodically assessed based on their memory, speed of thought, and wider cognitive abilities.

The study revealed that, while the human brain naturally declines as we age, working “antisocial shifts” accelerates this process.  Those who worked more than 10 years of antisocial shift work had the same cognitive results as someone who was 6.5 years older.  For example, someone who was 50 years old at the conclusion of the study and had worked more than 10 years of night shift work, had the cognitive abilities of someone who was actually 56.5 years old.

Dr. Philip Tucker, one of the researchers from the University of Swansea said, “It was quite a substantial decline in brain function, it is likely that when people [are] trying to undertake complex cognitive tasks…they might make more mistakes and slip-ups, maybe one in 100 makes a mistake with a very large consequence, but it’s hard to say how big a difference it would make in day-to-day life.”[1]

The published conclusion of the study is that “Shift work chronically impairs cognition, with potentially important safety consequences not only for the individual concerned, but also for society.”[2] There is some evidence that the negative effects of working night shifts can be reversed, but recovery of cognitive function only presents itself at least 5 years after one has ceased regular antisocial shift work.

FACTUAL NECESSITY FOR SHIFT DIFFERENTIAL

Based on these findings and conclusions in this published study, one can and should make the argument in favor of instituting a shift differential where one does not currently exist.  It is scientifically proven that working abnormal shifts negatively impacts an employee’s cognitive abilities at a substantially greater rate than his counterpart performing the same work during the day.

This argument should heavily influence a fact-based neutral.  To such a neutral, monetary gain should be implemented in order to help offset the marked difference in working conditions which result in long-term impact on night shift workers and should help even the effective disparity between night workers and their colleagues.

All who have been deeply involved with the process know that creating a contract is akin to making sausage; but sometimes there are proposals that are advanced and adopted simply because they are the right thing to do.  A shift differential may very well be one of those contractual components.


[1] Gallagher, James.  BBC News - Health, Shift work dulls your brain, (Nov. 3. 2014).

[2] Marquie, Jean-Claude; Tucker, Philip; Folkard, Simon; Gentil, Catherine; Ansiau, David.  Occupational and Environmental Medicine.  Chronic Effects of Shift Work on Cognition:  Findings From the VISAT Longitudinal Study, (Published Nov. 3, 2014).