Survival bargaining: A new mindset for getting training
Police unions traditionally protect officers financially — during these hard times, those unions can work on getting those officers as much life saving survival training as possible
Ask any officer who has been in a life-or-death situation to tell the story of their survival. At some point during the telling of the gunfight, street fight, or pursuit, most will make the statement, “...and then my training kicked in.” Some of these survivors have been so moved by their experience they in turn become survival trainers themselves.
One of One Hundred and Ninety-three
Police unions traditionally protect officers financially and in other ways. During these hard times, those unions can consider adopting the mindset of survival bargaining to get as much life saving survival training as possible.
Defining Survival Training
Here are two years, 35 years apart, to compare what has been a trend. Gunfire deaths have trended downward considerably since 1975, at the same time traffic accident deaths have ranged back and forth between 20 and 40, with 2010 being an especially terrible year for officers on the road. Sadly in 2010, gunfire deaths, which had been falling, spiked upward again.
The decrease in the gunfire deaths since 1973 can be attributed to the fact that more officers are wearing of body armor than ever before. There have been significant improvements made in emergency trauma care. Police officers are also better equipped, better trained in tactics that enable officers to win gun fights. Law Enforcement changed the status quo and changed their destiny. The status quo bears changing again, by adopting the mindset of survival bargaining.
Keeping this information in mind, the survival training that should be targeted for survival bargaining are Firearms, Defensive Tactics, and Emergency Vehicle Operations.
Defining Survival Bargaining
Survival Bargaining would be a perception shift — taking survival training out of the category of wages and placing it in the category of benefits. Union members who can make this shift in thinking will insure an increase in, by making it more affordable to their departments.
A union representative deciding to bargain for survival training as a benefit would need to have the approval of their membership before proceeding. The questions to ask the group would be:
If survival bargaining is proposed, anticipate a lively discussion on the topic. Some will look at any such effort as a cut in pay, but that point can be countered by explaining, “No. If we manage to get more survival training to our officers it is not a cut in pay, but an increase in benefits.” The fact of the matter is though, this is not about money. It is about giving “America’s Finest” the best possible survival training so that when they meet “America’s Worst” our officers will, as my fellow PoliceOne Columnist, Richard Fairburn, would say, “Prevail!”
On one hand there are those in law enforcement, who would disagree and look at training as something they must endure — therefore, they must be properly reimbursed for their suffering. Some would gladly go the rest of their career without smelling their partner’s sweat, a mat, gun-smoke, or burning rubber in the training environment ever again.
On the other hand, there are other officers whose training allowed them on one or more occasions to make it home from one or more memorable shifts. These officers would most likely agree that survival training is a benefit.
Win, Win, Win
There is a lot of talk these days about health insurance benefits. Well, survival training is a health insurance benefit police officers can ill afford doing without.
One more way to envision survival bargaining is to say, “Some of something for less pay is better than none of something for more pay.”
|Back to previous page|