Three Questions for Richard Murphy, President of the Big Bend Chapter of the Florida PBA

Three Questions for Richard Murphy, President of the Big Bend Chapter of the Florida PBA

The Big Bend Chapter of the Florida PBA and the City of Tallahassee recently declared an impasse over contract negotiations. If an agreement is not reached, the two parties will go in front of arbitrator in the near future.

In attempt to understand the stalemate, TR researched the negotiating process and sought answers to three questions from a representative of the PBA.

The Process

The PBA negotiates labor contracts with the City of Tallahassee. The actual negotiations take place between Tallahassee city staff and PBA representatives. TR has confirmed that the point person with the City of Tallahassee is Assistant City Manager Raul Lavin, who reports to City Manager Reese Goad.

Tallahassee City Commissioners, while not involved with specific negotiations, are briefed on the process and will have to vote to support any agreement that is reached between city staff and the PBA.

Also, it is important to note that there are two bargaining groups represented by the PBA within the Tallahassee Police Department. The bargaining unit representing TPD supervisors have previously voted to accept an agreement with the City of Tallahassee. The bargain unit that represents the rank and file recently voted against the City of Tallahassee’s last proposal and now are at the impasse stage.

The Questions

Richard Murphy, the President of the Big Bend Chapter of the Florida PBA, submitted answers to the three questions below.

What’s keeping both sides from reaching a deal?

Richard Murphy: For months, we negotiated in good faith with the City Manager, Reese Goad, offering reasonable proposals that reflected the needs of our police officers, who are still working under an expired contract. Despite our good faith efforts, each of our proposals was rejected with a disingenuous counter offer that was inconsistent with the pay and benefits afforded to other municipal employees in Florida. The City Manager’s intransigence over proposed pension and health insurance contributions continues to be a major factor for this impasse.

As it stands now, we pay almost three times the amount than the average municipal employee in Florida for a family health insurance plan and we pay upwards of 13% into our pensions, which is also about double what most municipal employees in Florida pay.

Why should the citizens of Tallahassee be concerned?

Richard Murphy: The public should care about the City of Tallahassee’s commitment to fairly compensating its police force because maintaining and recruiting highly qualified men and women to serve on the front lines of public safety will have a significant impact on the city’s ability to fight crime and keep our communities safe, particularly when violent crimes are on the rise.

As of last night, we’ve had five homicides this year compared to only one last year during the same period of time. Staffing cuts are also a factor. One of our Violent Crime Response Teams, as well as one of our Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Squads, have been disbanded in order to staff patrol squads.

If the city fails to invest in its police force, public safety will be compromised, parents won’t want to send their kids to college here, and local businesses will go out of business.

How can this impasse be resolved?

Richard Murphy: City Manager Goad should come back to the table and recommit to negotiating a fair and equitable contract that reflects the needs of our current force, while building a strong career path for the future of our police force. City Manager Goad’s failure to invest responsibly in our city’s police force will have lasting negative consequences for our city for many years to come. 

Tallahassee Reports will continue to follow developments related to this process.

14 Responses to "Three Questions for Richard Murphy, President of the Big Bend Chapter of the Florida PBA"

  1. Bottom line, crime is out of control, we have less police on the job, less people applying and citizens who don’t support or assist the police and a city council led by the spineless city manager who could careless about the police and it’s problems, so do we really expect the capital city to really engage in a workable solution, not now not ever sad indeed!!

  2. The City does what it does because this is not a Union. The Police cannot strike by law and the City can involuntarily draft officers for anything (football, parades, etc.) So they dance and delay extending the old agreement as long as possible and then come to an accord without retroactive pay back to when the contract should have started.
    Murphy’s language is trite pointless babble just as much as the City’s reply will be.
    The City regards the Police as a necessary evil. The City knows it is cheaper to pay the overtime to make them work the draft events than it is to fully staff the department. They could care less about the crime rate.

  3. The union isn’t suggesting officers are going to do a bad job because they’re not being paid enough. The problem is there aren’t ENOUGH officers to adequately address the violent crime issues in our community. The union is pointing out that the police department is critically understaffed and they need a reasonable financial package for officers and candidates so they can retain and recruit enough officers to reduce crime.

  4. TPD works the most cases in their entire judicial circuit (Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla, Franklin, Liberty and Jefferson) and has one of the lowest take home pays. The city punishes the police department for having a Union which protects them against unfair treatment, like this, by making them pay a higher pension contribution and higher rates into their medical insurance. The crime rate will continue to rise without more officers to service the citizens and they can’t hire more officers without a competitive salary. Officers are having to work crazy amounts of overtime to make up for the lack of officers due to a lack of retention and increasing retirements. We need to support our police force.

  5. Wouldn’t you rather have a good qualified Police Officer than just anyone they can find off the streets. It’s not like it’s a popular job and I can’t imagine they have tons of people lining up to be a police officer. I say pay them and support the police.

  6. Welcome to Law Enforcement “Re-Imagined”… compliments of the NaziCrat Party.

    After all, even Dementia Joe Biden claims that the genocide being committed in China by his CCP buddies is just a “cultural thing”… you know, their in China, and it’s a China thing.

    By the way, gas up .60 cents in less than two months of the NaziCrat Sadministration… and climbing.

  7. All I know is there is not enough police officers on the street and I pay a lot of taxes for police protection. I dont care how they do it they need to retain the good officers and hire more officers. I support our boys in blue give them a contract.

  8. The problem is that the City of Tallahassee can’t hire good candidates or retain the ones that they currently have. Violent crime is on the rise and the number of officers on the street is decreasing.

    Did you know that 2 Carjackings occured in the City of Tallahassee over the weekend. One of these occured in a student apartment complex. .

    Did you know that less than 30 officers are patrolling the streets Tallahassee. That number doesn’t include officers taking vacation time, sick leave or being injured.

  9. The City Manager and whoever that powerless lackey Reese Goad installed as the Chief of Police in name only are not doing this correctly.
    Reese should keep his name out of anything to do with TPD and force powerless lackey Revell to respond to not just union negotiations but EVERYTHING to do with TPD.
    Of course powerless lackey Revell will still have absolutely no power or decision making capabilities whatsoever. All that will still be approved in advance by Reese Goad prior to the powerless lackey Revell opening his mouth in response to any and all inquiries.

    I cant believe you guys are so dumb that you need Management 101 basic advice from Snidely.

    Revell will still have to clear everything with Reese Goad including any #2’s to the restroom (Revell can go to #1’s without Goad’s approval but thats all).
    That way our gullible sheeple voters will think they have a real Chief of Police.

  10. “If the city fails to invest in its police force, public safety will be compromised, parents won’t want to send their kids to college here, and local businesses will go out of business…. City Manager Goad’s failure to invest responsibly in our city’s police force will have lasting negative consequences for our city for many years to come.”

    Sounds an awful lot like a threat to me. Who’s negotiating this deal, Sammy the Slicer or Joey Bag o’ Donuts?

  11. I am sorry but I can’t get passed that the city has to make some union happy. Hasn’t anyone looked at Chicago and other cities that bow to unions. Unions are not our friend. Make an offer fair to the tax payer and if the union doesn’t like it let them do what they do. I suspect there may be many highly qualified law enforcement people anxious to leave cities where the elected leadership bought into the Defund the Police mantra and come Tallahassee where they will be appreciated.

  12. We had the highest violent crime rate in the state for the duration of the old contract. You agree to do a professional, honest job for what you agree to do it for. Mr. Murphey’s argument would suggest they signed the old contract and because it wasn’t enough, violent crime went up.

    Give it rest Murphey, your people want a raise, you frame it as a “lack of investment”. How bout we do it this way; you get the crime rate heading in the right direction, stop threatening us when you don’t get a raise (don’t feel like the Lone Ranger, I didn’t get one either) and maybe you’ll get a “merit adjustment”.

    You need a better argument Murphey, the cops are gonna get screwed with that one…

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