Work agreement negotiations between the city of Lawrence and the Lawrence Police Officers Assn. got off to a false start today when the LPOA president asked for more time to prepare the union's proposal.
Tony Garcia, president of the bargaining group, said the LPOA proposal would be ready by 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Garcia said the delay was the result of a poll last weekend of the LPOA's 47 members. He would not elaborate on the cause of the delay.
Police notified the city in April of their intent to open negotiations for a new work agreement, as required under the city's policy for negotiating with its employee groups.
Garcia will not identify specifics of the LPOA's proposal beyond saying the group is seeking a one-year agreement with an increase in wages and benefits.
The talks were scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. today, which Ray Hummert, administrative services director, said would have been the latest start for negotiations in the past seven years.
Under a city policy, an agreement must be reached before Friday or an impasse will be declared. If the impasse cannot be resolved by Sunday, the policy calls for the two parties to seek the assistance of a federal negotiator.
In 1988, the LPOA and city agreed to a proposal that included a 3 percent wage increase for 1989 and an additional 4 percent increase for this year. In addition, the city offered a 3 percent "reclassification" increase in 1989.
The city-police negotiations in 1988 marked the first time in 10 years that a federal mediator did not assist the two sides in reaching an agreement.