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MEA Saves Shift Differential!

For over 30 years, MEA and the City have agreed in the way that Shift Differential is granted for dispatchers. Any dispatcher working at least 1 full night or split-shift rotation in a calendar year, receives Shift Differential for that full year. Dispatcher shift length and shift rotations have changed significantly over the last 30 years, but the rule has always been applied in the same way.

Recently, however, due to a new interpretation of Shift Differential by the Personnel Department the City approached MEA regarding changing how Shift Differential was applied to dispatchers in both Fire and Police. That interpretation was that anyone not working 2 full night shift rotations in a year would not receive Shift Differential.

With the new interpretation, the majority of Fire and Police Dispatchers would lose their 5% Shift Differential due to the changing shift schedules within both departments. This new interpretation not only would have had a direct impact to the recently negotiated increases but would also penalize personnel who worked a rotating shift schedule throughout the calendar year.

With an unsuccessful attempt to implement change in the Personnel Regulations in order to reinforce current practice at the Civil Service Level, MEA continued it’s fight for dispatch personnel.

Understanding the potential impact to severely needed recruitment and retention of all dispatchers, and with the full cooperation of the Mayor and his staff, MEA was able to secure new language in the MOU specific to all Fire and Police dispatchers Article 21, Salaries will now state:

I. Police and Fire Dispatcher Shift Rotation Pay

Dispatchers in Police and Fire Communications who work at least one (1) shift rotation in any rolling 12-month period which requires a night shift (defined as the majority of the hours of work is scheduled before 8:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m.) or a split shift (defined as a long-term schedule of a shift split by more than two consecutive hours or without two consecutive days of rest) shall receive a shift pay of five percent (5%) of base pay for the 12-month period which includes this shift rotation. This shift rotation pay will be paid whether there are two, three or four shift rotations during a rolling 12-month period. This shift rotation pay is distinct from the payment authorized by Personnel Manual Index Code H-6 and employees will not be eligible to receive both pays simultaneously.

This new language not only solidifies the way Shift Differential has been paid out for the last 30 years, it also ensures that any new interpretations by the Personnel Department will have no impact to dispatch staff. This language secures that there will be no change to the way Shift Differential is paid out to Police and Fire Dispatchers.

If you have any questions, please contact MEA at 619-264-6632 or email us at info@sdmea.org