A recent decision from Santa Fe’s top cop to change the department’s patrol division from working four 10-hour shifts to five 8-hour shifts has been put on hold.
State District Judge Sarah Singleton, who declined a reporter’s request to clarify the details of her ruling, granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Santa Fe Police Department from changing its current patrol shifts from four 10-hour shifts to five 8-hour shifts per week.
The matter will be heard again March 21.
The Santa Fe Police Officers Association, the name of police union, filed for an injunction last month trying to bar the shift change, arguing it violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement in that Chief Aric Wheeler did not properly negotiate the shift change with the union.
Friday’s ruling, according both union attorney David Foster and Santa Fe City attorney Geno Zamora, was not an indication of the judge’s opinion on the merits of the case, simply an acknowledgment the process of Wheeler’s decision needs to be further examined before the change is implemented.
While the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the union and the city makes it clear the chief has the ultimate authority to change shifts as he sees fit, it does not allow him to do so without first engaging in good-faith negotiations with the union, which is the SFPOA’s major gripe.