USF officials declare impasse with police union
One day after the Times reported on a consultant's recommendation that USF pay its overworked police officers more and beef up its force to improve campus safety, union and university officials are declaring an impasse in negotiations.
The two sides have been negotiating since June, but talks grew increasingly tense in recent weeks. Here's the statement from USF spokesman Ken Gullette:
Statement from the University of South Florida:
"Unfortunately, it appears that we are deadlocked in negotiations with the Police Benevolent Association. Therefore, we believe it’s in the best interest of the USF community to declare impasse. We regret having to take this step because we recognize it will have costs and pain for both sides, but we believe it’s our only option at this point to bring contract talks to a resolution.
We’ve been hopeful that we could reach a successful resolution to the talks that have occurred over the last several months. We had yet another bargaining session scheduled for last Friday—December 14—but received notice that the Union wished to cancel the meeting. Unfortunately, there was no indication expressed to reschedule.
We believe we have bargained in good faith throughout the process, and have put forth numerous proposals that attempted to address many of the issues raised during the negotiations. We put our best and final offer on the table in early November. We firmly believe that we put a strong offer out for their consideration, including a combination of base salary adjustments and cash bonuses in an effort to increase our competitiveness and enhance our ability to recruit and retain talented officers at USF.
We’ve tried to make considerable and significant concessions based on what the union has told us is important to them. It is unfair, quite frankly, to our officers for them to have to continue with no new agreement in place, as well as all of the uncertainty. Therefore, we believe that moving the negotiations through the impasse process is our best option at this time."