By: Allen Johnson
Almost 30 years after a police strike canceled Mardi Gras, Mayor Ray Nagins administration apparently is sending encouraging signals to a union that wants to represent NOPD cops. Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Courtney Bagneris, a former deputy chief at NOPD, met with representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police for a frank and open discussion of several topics, including the FOPs desire for collective bargaining rights, according to a memo from local FOP spokesperson Jim Gallagher. While we cannot lay claim to a great victory in todays meeting, the fact that a high-ranking city official was willing to sit down and discuss the collective bargaining process with the Fraternal Order of Police is a giant leap forward, Gallagher wrote. The next step will be to meet with representatives from the mayors and city attorneys offices. Ms. Bagneris has agreed to assist us in arranging that meeting. The FOP negotiates labor contracts on behalf of more than 2,500 police groups nationwide. Crescent City Lodge No. 2, the local FOP chapter and the largest of four local police groups, wants to add NOPD to the national unions growing list of contracts. In 1978, then-Mayor Dutch Morial broke a Teamsters-affiliated police union after two separate strikes.