According to both the town and the union that represents Brookfield’s police officers, Connecticut Council of Police (a branch of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) Local 1544, the two parties are going to be returning to the table on October 15 in an attempt to stave off binding arbitration hearings planned for December.
Lawyers representing the town and the union have been in negotiations since the police contract expired in June 2011 (officers have been working under their expired contract during the interim — see attached document), but have been unable to reach an agreement on a number of key issues.
Arbitration hearings were set to begin in December, however it would likely take several sessions to reach a settlement, with two to three months passing between hearings, according to sources familiar with the process.
Brookfield Youth Officer and union president Gary Gramling said the union’s attorney, Kelly Rommel, brought up the option of returning to the table and that he and Local 1544 were amenable.
Gramling declined to comment on the specifics of the negotiation or how he expects the upcoming talks to go, however he said they are going to “see if we can try to reach an agreement.”
First Selectman Bill Davidson would not go into detail about the talks either, but said Monday that he was “certainly optimistic that we can work things out,” as both parties “would very much like to talk this out among ourselves,” rather than be forced to abide by a mediator’s ruling.
Town labor attorney Patrick McHale and union attorney Rommel both declined offers to comment.