Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Police union files unfair labor suit against Peyton

The Jacksonville police union says Mayor John Peyton broke state law by sitting at a lunch table with two officers, trying to persuade them on the city’s need to get employees to take a paycut and calling the union boss a “jackass.”

The Fraternal Order of Police filed an unfair labor practice claim against the city this week, saying Peyton was attempting to go around the union leadership during his impromptu lunch discussion with the officers Aug. 3.

The complaint stems from a discussion Peyton had after walking into a Subway sandwich shop in Lakewood and seeing two police officers, one of whom was in uniform.

Peyton asked to sit down, and the officers agreed. After some small talk, Peyton started discussing the city budget and issues with the police contract, according to the union filing. Peyton then pulled out an iPad and started showing the officers charts that show the city’s growing financial problems if union concessions are not achieved, according to the complaint.

Peyton then said Cuba’s refusal to take concessions was hurting the union and that Cuba was a “jackass,” according to the complaint.

“To sit there and tell FOP members their leader is leading them down the wrong path is inappropriate and it’s also a violation of the law,” police union attorney Paul Daragjati said.

Both officers declined comment through Daragjati, who said neither of the men had ever spoken with the mayor before.

Cuba has done his share of name-calling in the past year. In the first bargaining session last fall, Cuba called some of the City Council members “buffoons” and he has also referred to Peyton as the “Millionaire Mayor.”

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