They were sitting at the same table, but police chief Thomas Manger and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 president Marc Zifcak could not have been further apart as they testified to the council on the issue of effects bargaining.
Effects bargaining deals with the way directives from management are implemented with union workers. Right now, a change or any new directive must be negotiated with the union.
Manger said effects bargaining makes it difficult for him to implement the simplest of changes, like requiring officers to check county emails once a day.
"It basically makes every exercise of management rights, a bargain-able issue," Manger says. "No other agency director has to do this, no other chief of police in Maryland has to do this."
Zifcak called the e-mail issue a petty one, and said Manger is guilty of mismanaging the department.
"We are here with the police chiefs priorities. Who gets the ticket machine, and checking email," Zifcak says. "Not state mandated testing, not required training and force options, not the theft of county equipment with potential of harming a police officer or a county resident."
Officers filled the council hearing room, but angrily left en masse in protest once it appeared council members would okay the changes. Council members approved the measure by unanimous vote.