Benefits of Membership
The OPBA provides legal representation, principally of a defensive nature, to its members in good standing.
In cases involving disciplinary action, the OPBA provides legal representation at both the administrative level (civil service commission, state personnel board of review) and in common pleas court. The OPBA pays all costs in connection with these proceedings including filing fees in court, the transcript of the administrative proceedings compiled by a court stenographer (to be filed in court), etc. Since the legalization of public sector collective bargaining, most such disputes are resolved through binding arbitration.
The OPBA provides legal representation in defending its members against false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and civil rights lawsuits, regardless of the amount involved in any such action. Also, a member receives such representation, even if the case involves an off-duty or part-time job incident, as long as the member was acting in the capacity of a law enforcement officer. Such representation means that not only is the member given legal counsel, but also, the OPBA assumes all of the other costs in connection with the case.
The OPBA provides criminal representation to its members if they are charged with a criminal offense as a result of acting in the capacity of a law enforcement officer again either on duty or off duty.
Any member of the OPBA (in good standing) will have made available to him legal representation by the legal staff provided that the member desiring such assistance by the legal staff must first contact the association office before receiving such assistance, and as soon as possible thereafter, forward a letter requesting such assistance to the association office.
No member has a vested right in representation by the legal staff of the association beyond the first level of adjudication.
If terminated or suspended and in litigation, full dues must still be paid.
Under the collective bargaining law, the OPBA provides full representation at all levels of bargaining and, in addition, assumes all costs in connection with bargaining.
Under the collective bargaining law, there may be numerous bargaining units within any law enforcement agency: (1) a patrolmen’s unit, (2) a unit comprised of officers holding the ranks of sergeant or above, (3) civilian personnel, (4) dispatchers, and (5) corrections officers.
Bargaining under the law contemplates five separate stages: (1) face-to-face negotiations with the employer, (2) mediation, (3) fact-finding, (4a) binding impasse arbitration for police, deputies, dispatchers and correction officers and (4b) the right to strike for civilian personnel, and (5) court action in the form of an appeal from an arbitration award.
Each of these stages has its own costs. For example, in fact-finding, the union is required to pay one-half of the costs involved. The daily allowable rate for the members of the fact-finding panel is currently $950. In binding impasse arbitration, under the statute, the union is required to pay one-half of the total costs, again including the arbitrator’s fee.
The OPBA will pay all costs associated with bargaining.
The OPBA will provide an attorney or business agent before the first level of bargaining to assist the bargaining unit in both framing its demands and preparing appropriate contract language. The OPBA representative will continue throughout all levels of the bargaining process. Thus, an OPBA negotiator will attend each meeting with the employer and the unit’s bargaining committee and every meeting at each level of bargaining identified above.
Under the law and under appropriate circumstances, an unfair labor practice charge can be filed against an employer. If, for example, an employer refuses to bargain in good faith, a “refusal to bargain” charge can and will be filed by the OPBA before the SERB in Columbus. An OPBA attorney will prepare and file all charges and attend and represent the interests of the bargaining unit at the hearing. The OPBA will also defend against any charges filed against a bargaining unit by the employer.
Member of National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO)
The OPBA belongs to the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), which represents over 250,000 rank and file working police officers throughout the United States.
The purpose of NAPO is to unite all police officer organizations within the United States in order to promote and maintain federal legislation most beneficial to law enforcement in general and to represent its members in Washington DC before all branches of government.
It is further the aim of NAPO to stimulate mutual cooperation between law enforcement organizations and to assist in economic, social and professional advancement of all law enforcement officers, active and retired.
The NAPO office is located in Washington DC.
Page Last Updated: Apr 08, 2019 (08:46:00)