Naperville police union's labor lawsuit dismissed

An unfair labor practices lawsuit the Naperville police union filed against the city more than three years ago has been dismissed, ending a dispute that began when the city laid off six officers in November 2010.

The dismissal clears the city of the complaint filed by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 42 that it did not bargain in good faith during contract negotiations that ended with the approval of a three-year deal shortly before the layoffs.

The union had said the possibility of layoffs did not come up during negotiations and the final agreement was based on what the city offered. But city officials said layoffs were discussed during contract negotiations and the city refused to approve a provision that would have guaranteed no officers would be let go.

Now that the suit has been dismissed, both sides say they have a better relationship than they did when the layoffs occurred.

"We are obviously disappointed with the judge's decision, but it will allow the union to put this behind us and move forward," the union said Saturday in a written statement. "The amount of time both parties invested in this has strengthened the working relationship between the union and management."

The officers who were laid off in 2010 all were offered the opportunity to rejoin the force after others retired, and the city and police union approved a new contract in 2013 that began retroactively on May 1, 2012, and is set to end April 30, 2015.

"Both the city and the police union have worked together to forge a positive relationship," City Manager Doug Krieger said. "We all have the same goal - providing the best service to our residents. In 2013, our city was ranked as one of the top 10 safest mid-size cities in the nation, and it is thanks to the hard work of our police officers."

The union has told the city it will not appeal the dismissal of its lawsuit.

"We highly encourage the city to employ the necessary amount of police officer to keep our community safe," union officials said in a statement, "while maintaining a balanced budget."

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