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June 22, 2024

Shelby County FOP MOU vs. AFSCME MOU – Words Matter

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On September 11, 2023

Shelby Co. (ECWd)-

The Shelby County Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) contract became a topic of debate during the last Special County Board meeting.  Our previous article at this link covered some of the issues raised during that meeting.

Even though we published the MOU in that article, numerous social media posters have made claims it says things that are not even remotely true.

In an effort to bring some clarity to the matter, a few things need to be understood.

We have spoken about statutory construction for years.  What is statutory construction? It is a process used to determine and carry out the intent of the Legislature.  Part of that process is to never read statutes in isolation.  This is learned through reading case law on matters dealing with government operations.  The one thing we commonly see written in such higher court rulings is this phrase:  Had the legislature intended for the public body to have that power, they would have included it as they did in another statute. The same analysis can be and should be done when reading resolutions.

The FOP MOU resolution on premium pay reads as follows:

“….Essential Worker Premium Pay through August 31, 2024, during the period of Covid 19 State Emergency Order.”

The AFSCME MOU resolution on premium pay reads as follows:

“….Essential Worker Premium Pay through August 31, 2024.”

What was the intent of the FOP resolution when adopted? Some insist the pay was to continue through August 31, 2024, while others say only if the State of Emergency is in place through that date.  The discussion at the time indicated it was to be a pay that would end when the State of Emergency ended up to August 31, 2024.  So if the State Emergency Order was still in place on September 1, 2024, their pay would have stopped on the August date.

When you compare the two MOUs, it is clear, that had the county intended for the FOP premium pay to continue until August 31, 2024, they would have written it into the resolution as they did in the AFSCME MOU.  The fact they did not indicates it was not what they wanted to happen.

Those who continue to push a false narrative that the deputy salaries were cut when the MOU payments stopped should know making such a claim is a lie. The FOP contract spells out their salary and nothing changed that fact.  The bonus money they received with the MOU stopped as is clearly outlined in the contract, and just because it stopped does not mean the county board does not support the police or is part of a defund the police movement.  Such claims appear to be nothing but politically motivated talking points.






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