It has been widely reported that the Commonwealth’s Office of Public Safety has been actively awarding grants for BWC programs to communities. The grant program has very specific requirements in its application process, including several that concern collective bargaining and your union’s role as a necessary part of the process.
Attached below is a copy of the Massachusetts BWC Grant Application instructions – I have highlighted several terms of interest. Please take some time to read and familiarize yourself and your local with the process. This will definitely help your group understand that the union has a required role in the grant process. You will also learn the extensive amount of information that must be provided by cities and towns, much of which will be of great interest to local unions. Finally, it would be good to know what representations are being made about the status of union negotiations and proposed changes to employment practices, etc.
The second attachment is just a standard public records request for the grant information. This is one that was sent directly to the State, although it can also be directed to the employer. Groups dealing with the BWC issue should request the grant information so they can analyze and then be in a position to bargain effectively.
If your community is not one of the many that applied for the grants, then the information required by the state is a good starting point for your union to form its own informaiton request – in other words, to the extent the PD is starting a BWC program, you could ask for the same types of information as part of a GL c. 150E request to your PD.