Grievances Filed Over Lawton Anti-Tobacco Proposition
A special session of the Lawton City Council has been called for Monday at 4 p.m., to talk about grievances recently filed by local unions in regards to a new anti-tobacco ordinance.
The session will take place in the auditorium of Lawton City Hall, Southwest 9th St. and C Avenue, before the group votes to go into executive session on two items: a pending grievance from the International Association of Firefighters, Local 1882, and a pending grievance from the International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO, Local 24. Both grievances were filed in response to an anti-tobacco ordinance that recently went into effect, after winning approval by the Lawton City Council in October.
Both unions filed their grievances after the council amended an existing anti-smoking ordinances to include all tobacco products (including vapor products) on all city-owned property. Until mid-November, city code specified that smoking was not allowed on city-owned properties, with exemptions granted to Lawton Municipal Golf Course and city lakes. The amended code bans all tobacco products, to include those that are smoked, chewed or dipped, and vapor products. That ban also extends to all city-owned property, including vehicles, deleting the exemption given to some outdoor venues.
The unions make similar arguments in their grievances: The ordinance will have a direct change in working conditions and/or discipline for firefighters and police officers, and this action is a "clear violation" of both union's collective bargaining agreements, while exceeding what is required by state law. The unions also claim that the City of Lawton has exercised its management rights in bad faith, without justifiable management reasons; the unions suggest its members be exempted from the new ordinance, offering that instead, the union members would continue to adhere to the previous ordinance that banned smoking on or in most city-owned properties.