The process of negotiating a labor contract with the city can be a long and arduous ordeal, and that's if things go normally."Are you telling us that you are not going to accept our proposals and bargain over our proposals?," asked Clay Ballenger, President of the Tulsa police union. He posed that question Thursday to the city manager of Tulsa, Jim Twombly, right after he delivered their contract proposals."He actually refused to even pick them up off the table and said he wasn't going to accept our proposals for the entire year of 2015," said Ballenger.
The city declined an on camera interview but released the complaint they filed against the union with the state board stating in part that; "The Lodge did not provide any proposals in the format required and agreed to...""It seems like they're trying to play this game of gotcha," said Ballenger.
Back in March, both sides agreed to some ground rules; one being that by April 2nd both sides would let each other know what they wanted to talk about."We did submit our proposals in a timely manner," said Ballenger.
Ok, here's where things go off the rails. The city gave the union a detailed proposal by that date, whereas the union says the in-depth version wasn't due at that time."We put in there that the more detailed proposals would come at a later date," said Ballenger.
Fast forward to Thursday when the police union did present their detailed version to the city manager, only to be rebuffed."Are you telling us that you are not going to accept our proposals and bargain over our proposals? Only yours? And his answer was basically yes," said Ballenger.
A stalemate right out of the gate, with both sides crying foul, and John Q. Public stuck in the middle."It's gonna end up costing the citizens of Tulsa more money because now we've got two complaints filed with the state public employee relations board, which now we both have to basically litigate," said Ballenger.