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Collective bargaining not expected to pass

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SHEPHERDSVILLE- On Monday night's agenda, the Shepherdsville City Council will consider the second reading and possible adoption of an ordinance allowing for collective bargaining for police department employees. However, mayor Scott Ellis considers the matter to be a dead issue.

“We don't need both,” Ellis said of creating a collective bargaining system while still having the civil service intact.

Ellis said concerns were raised by the police department when there was some discussion that the civil service system might be eliminated. A special meeting was recently held and Ellis said it was determined that even if the civil service was abolished today, those hired under the program would remain covered.

The mayor said he knew of no movement to do away with the civil service system. Ellis added that some of the police officers voiced a concern about what might happen if the city's financial situation would return to its state of uncertainty, as happened several years ago.

Since the first reading, Ellis said he had gotten some feedback and he knew the councilmembers were seeking out information.

Facts sent by Joseph Coleman of the Kentucky League of Cities revealed that only 4.4 percent of all cities in the state have any type of collective bargaining. Ellis said there would be no reason to have both systems in Shepherdsville.

In talking with several councilmembers, Ellis said he didn't think there was any possibility that such a proposal would pass. However, since the matter was put up for a firs treading, he would keep it on the agenda. The mayor said besides the confusion caused by having such a system, his other concern would be what happens to the rest of the city's employees. He said to be fair, all city employees deserve some protection.

Arguments made against collective bargaining programs include higher wage costs.

Ellis said city employees, especially the police and fire, have recently received higher-than-normal salary increases. Part of the reason behind the pay hikes was to help retain and to aid in the recruitment of employees.

In terms of having a way to protect the employees and to allow them some type of grievance procedure, Ellis said the civil service system already provides that.

The Shepherdsville City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 10. The public is invited to attend