Teamsters Urge Panama City Commission to Follow Special Magistrate's Recommendations

Oct 26, 2010, 12:19 ET from Teamsters Local 991

Magistrate Recommends that City Agree to 2 Percent Wage Increase

MOBILE, Ala., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters Local 991 today urged the Panama City Commission to follow the recommendations of a special magistrate who was appointed by the Panama City Public Employee Relations Board and agree to a 2 percent wage increase for police officers. In addition, Local 991 urges the mayor and commissioners to approve the recommendations on overtime, vacations and holiday pay.

Jim Gookins, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 991, said Panama City's own statistics show an 18 percent increase in crime and an 11 percent decrease in staffing. The Teamsters are calling for a fully staffed department of 68 officers, along with a 2 percent wage increase. The special magistrate has sided with the Teamsters on the wage increase retroactive to Oct. 1, 2009. The retro pay plus the increase for the one-year term of the agreement is approximately $92,000. This figure is based on a fully staffed department of 68 officers.

"The published organizational chart for Panama City shows the citizens at the top," Gookins said. "Investing in the police force by way of improved pay and benefits is the way to get the job done correctly and to prove to the citizens that their safety is priority number one. We ask the commission to agree to the union's proposals on these important issues."  

"This city needs a multi-year plan that will reduce crime and investing in the police force by way of improved pay and benefits will help protect the citizens," said Michael Filler, Director of the Teamsters Public Services Division. "The commissioners need to take a stand against crime and against criminals who are impacting the citizens and visitors to this area."

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States and Canada. The Teamsters also represents law enforcement officers employed at 1,400 departments nationwide.

SOURCE Teamsters Local 991