Law Enforcement Employee Relations (LEER)
This division is the collective bargaining arm of the WPPA for non-supervisory employees. Through collective bargaining, LEER works with and for law enforcement personnel to ensure rights and protect interests. In addition, LEER’s comprehensive, skilled representation in all areas of labor relations provides superior union power.
LEER provides full service including representation on: contract administration and negotiations; job security (protection in grievance matters, arbitrations, disciplinary cases and unfair labor practices); and other specialized services in areas of worker’s compensation, duty disability and civil service.
A. Disciplinary Cases Suspensions and Terminations
When requested, WPPA/LEER will:
1) Investigate alleged complaints against a member and recommend a course of action; and
2) Appeal an unwarranted disciplinary action to a police and fire commission, grievance committee, arbitrator or other appropriate forum.
B. Wages, Hours and Working Conditions
1) WPPA/LEER will provide representation upon the request of an affiliated local:
a) To represent the local in all phases of contract negotiations.
b) To represent the local in final offer arbitration contract disputes in appropriate cases.
c) To represent the local or individual members on matters before the WERC or other state agencies, as appropriate.
d) To prepare and handle grievances including representation at the arbitration step for appropriate cases.
2) WPPA/LEER pays the union’s share of fees in all approved arbitrations.
3) WPPA/LEER furnishes legal advice or referral to members whose wages, hours and/or working conditions have been adversely affected outside of a contract, in violation of civil service rules and regulations or prevailing law.
C. Duty Disability, Unemployment and Worker’s Compensation
1) General advice on duty disability, unemployment and worker’s compensation procedures.
2) Referral to a specialized attorney for matters before state agencies for matters related to a member’s employment.
3) WPPA/LEER does not reimburse members for legal fees paid to any attorney obtained by any member on a contingency basis, even though the fee may be based upon a job-related incident (such as a worker’s compensation award).
D. Civil Litigation
1) WPPA/LEER furnishes attorneys to locals and/or members to file civil suits in either state or federal court:
a) When the litigation will have a positive effect upon the quality of law enforcement in the community or state; or
b) The employer has to be taken to court to force compliance with prevailing statutes or the Wisconsin or United States Constitution; or
c) The local and/or member must file litigation in order to obtain court interpretation of prevailing statutes.
2) Certain civil litigation cases may be handled on a contingency basis.
3) Approval by WPPA/LEER is required in these cases.
The WPPA employs a Director of Legal Services and a staff attorney to represent its members in certain grievances and disciplinary cases.
In addition, WPPA retains the law firm of Cullen, Weston, Pines and Bach to represent its members. Cullen, Weston, Pines and Bach attorneys are experienced in labor, employment and criminal law. These attorneys assist in the representation of WPPA members.
The firm also offers a Group Legal Plan to WPPA members and their families. As a member of WPPA, you are eligible for an initial free consultation with an attorney on work matters (such as worker’s compensation cases) or on personal matters (including personal injury cases that are not work related). You may receive a substantial discount on any follow-up legal services.