April 24, 2016

AUSTIN COURT OF APPEALS ENFORCES “LAST CHANCE AGREEMENT”

An Austin Police Officer agreed to a “Last Chance Agreement” and a 60-day suspension with a one-year probationary period.  The Agreement provided he would be fired without appeal if he engaged in the same or similar misconduct.  The Officer was fired again for similar misconduct and an appeal hearing was denied by the Civil Service Commision.

The Court concluded the City and Association’s Meet and Confer Agreement waived the Officer’s right to appeal to a Hearing Examiner.  The Court acknowledged that Last Chance Agreements are not found in Chapter 143, but the Meet and Confer Agreement controls and its language shows the parties did not intend to permit the Officer to appeal if the same misconduct occurred.  The Court concluded Chapter 143 appeals procedures were unavailable.  City of Austin Firefighters and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission v. Stewart ___S. W.___3d, 2016 Tex.App. LEXIS 3829 (Tex.App.—Austin 2016).

March 30, 2016

Notice to TCSR subscribers:  We have just mailed the April 2016 Update to the Reporter to all subscribers last week via the U.S.P.S.  Please watch for the delivery of your copy(ies).  If you don’t receive them by April 15, please contact us at txcivilservice@gmail.com  or use the Contact Page on the website and we will track the mailing and get back to you.  We appreciate your continued support.

June 26, 2015

For those subscribers who engage in Meet and Confer negotiations with Police, you may be interested in a recent development concerning the interpretation of the provision in Section 142.056  of the Texas Local Government Code regarding  a change in the City’s recognition of the exclusive bargaining representative of its police employees.  On June 16, 2015, State Representative Carol Alvarado sent a request to the Texas Attorney General asking him to clarify how often a petition can be filed under Section 142.056, which provides for an employee election to determine the majority status of the currently-recognized association.  The Meet and Confer statute does not address this question.  Also, note that the Firefighters Meet and Confer statute is silent on the same question (Section 142.106), but no Attorney General opinion has been requested regarding its interpretation.  We will report on the Attorney General’s opinion as soon as it is released.