F R A T E R N A L thO R D E R O F P O L I C E
710 Southwest 12 Avenue. Miami, Florida 33130
Phone (305) 854-5019

Javier Ortiz Max Valdes

March 2, 2017

Florida Supreme Court Tells City of Miami to Live up to Its Contracts

The FOP is deeply gratified by the decision of the Florida Supreme Court today finding that the City
of Miami’s actions in lowering the wages and pension benefits of its police officers during the so-
called “Financial Urgency Crisis” was unconstitutional. The City Commissioners had previously
entered into a Collective Bargaining Agreement with its police officers in which it had agreed to their
wages and benefits. The City Commissioners had approved this agreement at open session. The
Commissioners then decided that their promises to their police officers meant nothing, and they could
renege on their word without any consequences. The Florida Supreme Court has spoken loudly and
clearly, and told the City something they failed to understand: a City’s contracts with its employees
means something, and can’t just be repudiated because it is expedient to do so.

The City decided to dig itself out of financial difficulty of its own creation by placing the sole burden
on the backs of the police officers. The City’s weaseling out of its promises had a real effect on the
lives of the police officers. Many had to take their children out of daycare, had to sell to their houses,
and take additional jobs. All along, the FOP maintained that the City’s actions were unconstitutional,
refused to give in and now the Supreme Court has agreed.

This is not only a victory for police officers and government workers throughout the state, but it is also
a victory for every citizen or business in the State of Florida who enters into a contract with
government. Government can no longer just walk away from its contracts because it is convenient to
do so.

I have already spoken with the City Manager, who says that the City will now simply take us to
impasse. I was disappointed to hear that, because it just shows that the City is continuing to operate
in bad faith. The City will downplay this significant loss, instead of learning from its mistakes. The
FOP had shown the City many ways to save money, but the City decided to ignore those, and to just
make the police officers pay for it. Yet the Supreme Court made it clear – the City cannot avoid its
contractual obligations unless it first has exhausted every other reasonable alternative. Simply
declaring impasse, fails that test. More information will be disseminated in the near future of our
next steps to begin restoring what was unconstitutionally taken away from us.

I want to thank our lawyers, Ronald J. Cohen, Esq. and Robert D. Klausner, Esq., who worked
tirelessly through many years to provide us with this victory.

Javier Ortiz
Javier Ortiz, President
Miami Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #20

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