Disability Compromise Gains Traction in MoCo
Support on the Montgomery County Council appears to be building for a compromise measure to create a partial disability retirement benefit for police officers. The measure, narrowly backed by a joint committee this afternoon, would require a two-tier benefit system, but leave the details to County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and police union leaders to hash out during scheduled labor negotiations in the fall.
Council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda), who offered the amendment, said a two-tier system that recognizes "differences in the degree of injury" is "critical for truly meaningful reform." But, he said in a memo to colleagues, he was persuaded by Fraternal Order of Police leader Walt Bader that the council should not prescribe in law the specific level of benefit.
Whether to create a smaller, partial disability benefit for injured officers who can continue to work in some capacity was the main stumbling block during informal discussions between Leggett and union leaders.
Berliner encountered some resistance from his colleagues Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring) and Marc Elrich (D-At Large), who said they would prefer that the council give such direction in the form of a resolution, rather than through passage of legislation.
Ervin, for one, said she was uncomfortable "dictating" what the two parties discuss at the bargaining table.
Andrews has postponed tomorrow's full council vote on the legislation until next Tuesday. He wants to give the county's other unions time to review the fine print of a separate amendment that largely reflects changes agreed to by Leggett and the FOP.
May 4, 2009; 2:50 PM ET
Categories: Ann Marimow , Montgomery County
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