Police Officers Union Says City's Deal with DOJ is Unlawful - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Police Officers Union Says City's Deal with DOJ is Unlawful

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

The City of Corpus Christi and the Department of Justice were in federal court on Wednesday, trying to finalize their agreement over the police department's hiring of female officers.

However, the Police Officers Association stepped in and said the agreement would be illegal under its own contract with the City.

Kiii News Reporter Michael Gibson went Live from outside of the federal courthouse with the details.

No one was disputing that the police department's physical testing of female police candidates was unfair, but the union said that those women who did not pass the test should not be given everything that the agreement between the City and the government called for.

"I'm not happy. I think the City did overstep its bounds in negotiating with the Department of Justice outside of our collective bargaining agreement," said Mike Staff, union president of the Police Officers Association. "Our membership is not happy. Our department is not happy. This is a morale buster."

"There is precedent that, if you have a collective bargaining agreement, that you're employees have vested rights, and that's what we're going to show the court today," Union Attorney Celeste Cory said.

The police union and its attorney were in federal court trying to get the deal between the City and the Department of Justice changed. Meanwhile, the City and police department managers are happy with the agreement that was worked out, and feel that more women will now join the police department as a result.

The union is angry because the deal between the City and the government would grant those women who did not pass the police academy to be able to not only receive money and a job from a settlement, but would also include possible immediate promotions and other benefits. In other words, those women could vault over current police officers in pay, promotions and shift changes.

That does not sit well with the union, and that is why they showed up to court to challenge the consent decree a federal judge was being asked to sign off on.

The union maintains that it has a contract with the City, and this deal would violate the terms of that contract. There are 86 officers who are members of the union and are upset about this, and have signed onto the union's efforts to have the deal altered.

Just about an hour ago, Judge Ramos told the government and the City they have to include the union in any deal. So everyone will have to go back to the table and give the judge an update on their progress in 30 days.