Email Raises Questions in Dispute between London Police Officer Mediation
Saturday, September, 10, 2016
London police are attempting to procure a last-minute deal so they can avoid one of the most historic budget disputes in history and the police board budget chair recently issued a statement saying he’s hopeful of this happening. However, a recent email from city hall has called into question whether the dispute can be resolved before moving onto mediation or not.
According to Paul Paolatto, the budget chair, he received the email in question from the city solicitor’s office asking the board for possible names and dates in case mediation is necessary in the fall. According to Paolatto, if the CAO’s office is already moving toward mediation and the groups have not had an opportunity to present their sides to one another, the outcome of the ongoing discussions are likely biased – one side is already planning for failure of negotiations.
Paolatto stated, “Either “city” council has already decided on its next step, or the CAO’s office has decided on their behalf.
The dispute grew out of the city’s denial of $4 million to the police. The police budget is still rising in each of the four years in the budget, but officers want to hire additional people on the force. The police force made history last spring when it appealed to a provincial oversight agency concerning the four-year budget request. It was the first time the board had appealed to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission or any other provincial body.
Now, Paolatto and others in the force are questioning who is “calling the shots,” and they are concerned that others might be involved in the situation.