Michelle Wu issued a blueprint for police reform through union contract negotiations, committing to fighting for clear steps for systemic reform through the collective bargaining process as Mayor of Boston.
Steps include establishing an objective discipline matrix, eliminating binding arbitration for certain serious offenses, curbing overtime abuse, diverting nonviolent 911 calls to alternative response teams and ensuring data transparency by mandating regular, proactive reporting of information to the public.
The contracts for Boston’s four main police unions expired in June, and some – including the agreement with the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association – are still under negotiation. Key issues like discipline, promotions, overtime, and the role of officers are hashed out in the contract. The Mayor negotiates the contract on behalf of the city, and the Council votes to approve or reject the contract.
“Delivering public safety through a lens of public health and community trust requires urgent action. But for too long, the necessary steps for meaningful change have been hindered by provisions in the collective bargaining agreements. It’s time to get serious about structural changes to the BPD with a contract that gets to the root of the cultural and systemic reforms we need – transparency, accountability, removing non-police functions from the department’s purview and reducing wasteful overtime spending to reinvest in neighborhood-level services,” said Michelle Wu.
This blueprint adds to Wu’s existing public safety and reform proposals and advocacy, and serves as a baseline of key changes to the contract. She has also released bold proposals to create a Cabinet-level Chief of Worker Empowerment, close the childcare gap, transform our public schools, Boston Green New Deal and Just Recovery Plan, Food Justice Agenda, Digital Equity Agenda and more.