When people think of law enforcement employment contracts in Texas, they think of CLEAT.
CLEAT was the first law enforcement organization to negotiate collective bargaining contracts in Texas. We have the highest qualified staff of full time negotiators and some of our employment contracts are recognized as the best in Texas and some of the best in the nation.
CLEAT currently negotiates 77% of all law enforcement employment contracts in Texas.
Recently, a national article recognized the 25 best police departments in the nation. #1 was Austin, #2 San Antonio and #16 Fort Worth, all contracts negotiated by CLEAT.
When we say we are the best, we can back it up with facts.
Our negotiators aren’t the best just because they were all former police officers. Instead, they are the best because they are educated, trained and experienced. They work hard to listen to the local association’s needs and balance that with what it possible.
CLEAT negotiators study the trends, stay ahead of the arguments from the other side while professionally seeking the best agreement possible for the officers. Rest assured that if war breaks out at the negotiating table you will want the people there who will stand strong with you and not collapse or take the management side or sell you out when the political climate gets tough.
We take our work seriously and we use the latest tools like salary surveys to bring our members the best information they can use during negotiations. In fact, CLEAT has the exclusive relationship with PolicePay.Net. They are the police salary and pay experts nationally.
The CLEAT Field Service team knows the difference between a good contract and the city’s spin cycle.
CLEAT negotiators look at the landscape in a holistic way. If it’s time to challenge something legally the CLEAT attorneys will be there as back-up in a flash. If things go bad with the politicians at the table and it’s time to bring in the fire power, CLEAT negotiators will not hesitate to call in the political messaging pro’s to take the issue to the media and influence the outcome through the local voters.
CLEAT is more than just the experts in collective bargaining contracts. We are the partners of the local officers and their association. We don’t stand up beside the city manager and tell you to take whatever is offered. We believe negotiations should be treated seriously. Collective bargaining is a right given exclusively to officers by the voters. We believe that officer pay should be commensurate to the risk involved in protecting Texas.
We take our role in your contract negotiations just as seriously as we do representing you legally or fighting to protect your rights in the Capitol. We see collective bargaining and meet and confer rights as your right to the path of self determination. We believe that every officer in Texas should one day be covered by an employment contract.
With CLEAT negotiators, you don’t just get a former cop—you get the best.
Director of Field Services
A former police officer in the Houston area departments of West University Place and El Campo. In 1991 Dwight decided after 17 years of service to resign as a patrol sergeant to accept a position that was offered working out of the Fort Worth Regional CLEAT office. Dwight is a 1994 graduate of the Harvard University Trade Union Program.
Tom was born and raised in Colorado. He served 7 years in the U.S. Army to include service during Desert Storm. He has an associate’s degree in law enforcement, is a Harvard trade union graduate and is a Master peace officer.
Danny Arredondo was a CLEAT member for his entire career as a San Marcos police officer. Danny served on the board of the San Marcos Police Officer Association as well as serving as President for the past decade. Danny was instrumental in convincing city leaders there to implement Meet and Confer after CLEAT passed the law back in 2005. Danny also negotiated every contract with the city, handled political endorsements as well as the every day duties of being a local President.
Steve Ayala’s career in law enforcement started at the University of Texas at Tyler where he served two years as an officer. As an officer he graduated from UT-Tyler with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Steve then returned back to his hometown where he’s been a police officer with the McAllen Police Department for over 17 years. Steve has served in several units in the department and has been an active board member for the CLEAT police associations in his department. Steve is a part-time Organizer and assigned to CLEAT’s newest office in the Rio Grande Valley.
Field Services Administrative Coordinator
Janet Cole grew up in Dallas, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Marketing. She came to CLEAT in 2008. She is a full-time organizer that focuses on targeted local associations in membership growth and helps them formulate strategies, leadership training, communication tools, and resolving local issues.
Chris retired from the Houston Police Department in 2010 after 31 years of service. He has also been a member of CLEAT for 30 years and has worked for CLEAT over 25 years as a consultant or part-time employee. Upon his retirement, Chris was hired by CLEAT full time to work in the Public Affairs Division. Over the years, Chris has developed expertise in the technical aspects of the legislative process, including drafting legislation, amendments, position papers and bill analyses. He has a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Houston.
John Kerr joined the CLEAT Field Services Division after retiring from the Fort Worth Police Department. John has served as President of the FWPOA and Vice President of CLEAT for several terms. He has negotiated contracts, recruited members and fought many public media and political battles in Fort Worth and across the state. He is a graduate of the Harvard Trade Union Program in Cambridge, Mass., and a veteran of the U.S. Army.
Ernie comes to CLEAT with over 10 years of law enforcement experience, most of which he served as a police officer in Fort Worth. He then went on to serve as a patrol sergeant and criminal investigations division sergeant for the Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office. There he also served as the Kleberg County Sheriff’s Officers Association President which resulted in the recruitment of more members, grievances being filed successfully with discipline being overturned in favor of the member, back pay, overtime wages being paid out up to $35,000.00, and negotiating contract amendments that improved the overall well being of the sheriff’s office. Ernie also was a part of the U.S. Marine Core as Sergeant. He has a son Joseph, and a daughter Cameron.
Jeff has 32 years of law enforcement experience starting in 1982 at the Canyon Police Department, and 25 years retiring as a Patrol Sgt. Supervisor from the Amarillo Police Department. He has been the President of the Randall County Sheriff’s Association and a Patrol Sgt. at the RCSO. He has served in many positions, including Shift Sgt., Motors, Detective in Robbery and Crimes Against Persons, Background Investigator, Academy Instructor, Honor Guard Supervisor, and has his Masters’ Peace Officer Certificate. He has been a CLEAT member throughout his career.
CLEAT was the first law enforcement organization to place representatives in the field. These highly skilled employees have a tradition being the boots on the ground in CLEAT.
Field representatives take a great deal of pride in staying in close contact to union leaders, members and being able to solve problems wherever they crop up. Field Representatives are interested in the overall health of the local union as well as any issues that impacts local members.
For nearly 40 years, CLEAT Field Representatives have recruited new members, negotiated collective bargaining contracts, assisted local unions in political battles and worked to keep the local groups on track during times of turmoil and crisis.
The CLEAT Field Services division currently is home to several former police officers, a former CLEAT President, former police union presidents and union organizers. The Field Services employees believe in their mission and are experienced and able to help local associations be even more successful.
So whether your union is currently underperforming, headed into collective bargaining negotiations, or facing a crisis the Field Services staff stand ready and able to help.