POAM ready to talk

By Tim Barnum
Staff writer
Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — The Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM), the union that represents deputies of the Arenac County Sheriff’s Office, has been holding out on ratifying a new contract until Sheriff Ronald Bouldin, whose relationship with the union has been rocky at best, leaves office, but POAM representative Dan Kuhn says the membership is ready to negotiate.

Kuhn says he is planning to meet with Arenac County Labor Relations Manager Bill Borushko after the holiday season wraps up in early January.

However, it appears there isn’t much to negotiate about.

“We (POAM and county) have tentatively agreed on just about everything,” Kuhn said. “I think we’re very close to resolving that contract.

“We’re ready to go when the employer is. … We should have this resolved shortly.”

Borushko, on the other hand, says even though a tentative agreement was made earlier this year, the union’s inaction due to alleged mistrust of the administration (Kuhn says the random drug-testing in the new contract would have less of a chance of being abused under a new sheriff and the removal of clothing allowance will probably be vetoed by sheriff-elect James Mosciski) has already carried out the process for too long.

“They (POAM) won’t come to the table to sign an agreement. … We keep dragging this out and we have employees paying more for their insurance than what we proposed,” Borushko said. “I’m hoping nothing pops up after the change in administration.”

Kuhn added the new healthcare plan proposed in the tentative agreement would also save money for the county and that he believes the new administration will discontinue the “Officer of the Month” program established under Bouldin.

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