City of Bridgeport and AFSCME, Council 15, Local 1159
When a deputy chief serves as acting chief, the position of deputy chief remains occupied and a captain who is number one on the eligibility list cannot obtain a promotion to deputy chief. On Oct. 15, 2008, the deputy chief of police became the acting chief. The acting chief informed Captain Robert Craw he would try to promote him to deputy chief, if a position opened. The acting chief promoted several individuals to sergeant and captain positions. The acting chief was informed that there was no opening for deputy chief, because the acting chief had not vacated his job as deputy chief. Although the acting chief made a contingent promise to promote Captain Robert Craw, he was not appointed. Craw claimed that previously individuals had been appointed to deputy chief when a deputy chief served as acting chief. The union filed a grievance and argued that the acting chief promised to promote Craw. The city objected that although Captain Craw was number one on the promotion list the deputy chief position was not vacant. The parties were not permitted to negotiate appointments from the eligibility list. The acting chief's contingent promise to promote could not be enforced in arbitration. The majority of arbitrators voted, 2-1, that the City of Bridgeport did not violate the collective bargaining contract. Dissenting, Clifford Silvers opined that there was a vacancy and that the city changed its past practice when it did not promote Craw, after the acting chief promised to promote, and Craw arranged for his family to attend the promotion ceremony. Joshua Wyatt represented the city. Kelly Rommel represented the union.