Workforce Planning & Recruitment
The causes of workplace conflict between the City’s police officers and City management in the current situation are anger, policies perceived to be unfair and poor communication. According to the July 2, 2014 Memo entitled Police Officers’ Reaction to Planned Cuts in Overtime Pay (the “Overtime Memo”), the police are upset not just that their earnings will be greatly reduced, but also about the manner in which they learned of the decision to hire twenty-five new officers. The decision to cut overtime through new hires was not discussed with the union prior to announcing the new plan. “This decision was made arbitrarily without consulting the officers or their union representatives.” (Overtime Memo, 2014) The police feel the new plan is unfair because for many years, they were relied upon to provide the additional manpower and hours necessary to meet the mayor’s lower crime initiative, and they did so without complaint. Now because the mayor feels embarrassed politically because of the newspaper’s release of the salaries of a few officers, their ability to earn overtime will be drastically reduced. “For several years, the city’s officers have been called upon to work long shifts and put in extra hours due to escalating crime and the mayor’s newly-imposed efforts to step up patrols in high crime areas. Loyal officers have sacrificed personal time with their families to ensure the public’s safety and comply with the mayor’s directives.” (Overtime Memo, 2014) Furthermore, the Mayor was overheard making disparaging remarks about the plight of these officers. As such, they feel their loyalty is not being recognized or appreciated. The degree to which the police officers have had to work extensive daily overtime has resulted in these longer hours becoming “routine” to the officers. They have come to rely on the substantial extra pay and consider it part of their overall compensation package.
If the conflict is not resolved, the union has threatened short-term retaliation through work slowdowns, high levels of absenteeism and lowered quantities of traffic tickets. Should the conflict continue, long-term ramifications could include the officers’ refusal to accept any overtime at all, and the refusal by experienced officers to train rookie police officers for their first year on the job. This currently unpaid training role would incur a substantial cost to the City if internal compensation or outsourcing is now required.
The sources of each cause of conflict can be classified as both intragroup and intergroup conflict. Making the argument that both groups really fall under the umbrella of the City as a whole, this would be considered intragroup conflict related to the City’s goals and the course of action needed to attain those goals. If instead viewing City police officers and City management as two separate groups, this would be considered intergroup conflict with disagreement occurring between two separate...