SAN ANTONIO — The leadership of the state’s law enforcement association voted on Friday to stand solidly with the members of the San Antonio Police Officers Association in their fight to seal a fair contract with the city.
The unanimous vote by the governing board of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas came on the same day that city leaders took the extraordinary step of filing a lawsuit against the police organization.
During the roll call of all the CLEAT locals to support the resolution, the SAPOA shouted an emphatic "Hell, yes! "
The roll call was covered by several San Antonio media outlets. CLEAT President Todd Harrison called the lawsuit "an insult to our members and their families."
“The police officers of San Antonio put on their uniforms every day to protect the people of this city, and the thanks they get is to have a lawsuit filed against them,” said Harrison. “The city management would rather haul the police association into court than sit down at the bargaining table to work out their differences.”
The unanimous vote by CLEAT’s leadership came as the state’s largest law enforcement labor organization was holding its 38th annual convention in San Antonio. Harrison noted that San Antonio’s thriving tourism industry has enjoyed its success in no small part because of the efforts by its police officers to keep the city safe.
“We find it both ironic and troubling that the very people who routinely go above and beyond to keep the city the safe place that it is can be so unappreciated by the city’s management,” Harrison said. “We call on the city’s decision-makers to stop playing political games with financial and health security of these dedicated police officers and their families.”
SAPOA told reporters that he blamed the impasse in negotiations and the escalated rhetoric "squarely on the shoulders" of City Manager Sheryl Sculley.
Meanwhile, if the city is determined to move forward with this ill-advised and frivolous lawsuit, CLEAT is prepared to commit the legal resources necessary to prevail in the courtroom.
See the news conference in the video below:
Whereas on the 7th day of November, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas in its annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, the city of our founding, do hereby resolve:
That the hardworking men and women of the San Antonio Police Department, serving with valor and honor and bravery in this historic city, and whereas that colorful department which has served the citizens of San Antonio and the citizens of the world who travel here every day as one of the top tourist destinations, and
Whereas, the citizens of San Antonio adopted state civil service and collective bargaining for their officers and whereas the San Antonio Police Officers Association has long been negotiating in good faith, and who has represented those officers historically and in every matter of employment, and
Whereas, the city of San Antonio, its city manager Sheryl Sculley has willfully and intentionally drawn the line in the sand against officer benefits, salaries, health care and retirements. And whereas, she has dispatched community and business leaders across this city to make bombastic remarks that have hurt the reputation of the officers and their families; and
Whereas, all the recent past collective bargaining agreements have been solely negotiated by her and the city manager’s team. These contracts have included the current health care, the current salaries, and the current Evergreen Clause with the sole recognized bargaining unit, the San Antonio Police Officers Association.
Now comes CLEAT, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, its 19,000 members statewide, its local member affiliates, to ask the Mayor and the City Council to cease and desist on a path against the hard working officers and their families. CLEAT as well as all Texas law enforcement personnel regardless of membership, demand an immediate end to the lies, in the unnecessary incitement of political tensions.
Be it hereby resolved that the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas and all of its affiliated locals stand in strong unity with our brothers and sisters in blue.
And be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution will be prepared and delivered to the Mayor and City Council, as this resolution was created by a roll call vote of all affiliated unions on this day.
The President and Vice Presidents and Executive Board of CLEAT