The Bowie City Council voted unanimously to give the city’s police department collective bargaining rights.
The change will allow the Fraternal Order of Police to negotiate with the city on behalf of the Bowie Police Department on a variety of topics from wages and benefits to uniforms, said Rachel Jefferson, a sergeant in Bowie’s patrol section who is president of Bowie’s Lodge No. 140.
The change should add greater job security for the members of the police force, Jefferson said.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to secure the benefits and conditions of employment in writing that they already give us,” she said.
On Aug. 6, the council, minus Councilman Dennis Brady who was absent, approved a charter amendment that gave FOP Lodge No. 140, which represents the more than 50-officer Bowie force, the ability to collectively bargain with the city.
“I look forward to an interesting negotiation process going forward,” said Bowie Mayor G. Frederick Robinson.
With the current fiscal 2013 budget already set, the union will participate in future negotiations that most likely occur later this year or early next, said City Manager David Deutsch.
Members of the police were ready to move forward, Jefferson said..
“Everybody is pretty happy and watching to see how things go,” she said.