HPD and union reach deal on new work shift
Honolulu police officers will work more days a week but have shorter shifts under a new contract designed to keep officers alert and give them enough days off to work second jobs.
Here is a comparison of the current police work schedule and the proposed one:
Week 1: Three 12-hour days, four days off
Week 2: Three 12-hour days, four days off
Week 3: Four 12-hour days, three days off
Total: 120 hours, or 40 hours every week
Police Chief Boisse Correa's proposed schedule:
Week 1: Five eight-hour shifts
Week 2: Five eight-hour shifts
Total: 80 hours, or 40 hours every week
Week 1: Four nine-hour shifts and one eight-hour shift, two days off
Week 2: Four nine-hour shifts, three days off
Total: 80 hours
When the new schedule kicks in Aug. 13, officers will basically work nine-hour shifts instead of the current 12-hour shifts, said Detective Alex Garcia, chairman of the Honolulu chapter of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers.
Currently, in a three-week schedule, officers work three days of 12-hour shifts and have four days off in weeks one and two; and they work four 12-hour shifts with three days off in week three.
The schedule is popular with many officers, but Police Chief Boisse Correa wanted to switch to a five-day, eight-hour schedule by late June or early July, partly because of concerns that the current schedule left officers too tired.
Negotiations for a new schedule between the police union and the Honolulu Police Department began in January.
The new deal employs a two-week schedule with officers working four nine-hour shifts and one eight-hour shift with two days off in the first week, and four nine-hour shifts with three days off in the second week, according to Garcia.
The three-day schedule for HPD officers started in 1997 as a pilot project and went islandwide in 2000. Union officials have been backing the schedule, saying it allows officers to work second jobs to make up for low pay.
Garcia, calling the agreement "satisfactory," noted that the department's original proposal also would have rotated officers' shifts every six to eight weeks, making it even harder for them to hold jobs elsewhere, attend school or spend time with family.
"We kind of met each other halfway," Garcia said of the agreement. "It satisfied the officers' need to have a permanent schedule, to be able to plan their lives."
The schedule was finalized a few days ago, Garcia said, and SHOPO members were told about its details yesterday afternoon.
Correa could not be reached for comment. In a statement he said, "We did our best to consider suggestions and concerns of our officers and the safety of the public and our employees."
Starting pay for Honolulu officers is $37,500. After four years they receive $42,240. The current contract expires in 2007.
The agreement will not affect officers' salaries, said HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu. She could not immediately say how many officers would be affected by the new schedule, but that it would include all patrol officers and a few others.