Prefrosh and parents were bombarded with campus crime woes as the Yale Police Union took its labor disagreement with the University to the streets.
Members of the Yale Police Benevolent Association, the YPD rank-and-file union, passed out pamphlets that said, “Yale and its host city, New Haven, can at times be a dangerous place,” twice during Bulldog Days. They leafleted prospective students and their parents outside of the “Bulldog Days Welcome Showcase” held in the Shubert Theater on Wednesday at 7 p.m., and also stood in Beinecke Plaza and in front of Commons before and after the University welcome address in Woolsey Hall Thursday afternoon.
The pamphelting is part of an ongoing dispute between the YPD union and Yale’s administration in which the union has charged that the administration did not allow crimes to be properly investigated — including, potentially, investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct — and used “stonewalling” bargaining techniques. Yale has denied the charges.
In response to the pamphleting, University spokesperson Tom Conroy said that public proclamations will not have any affect at the bargaining table. He told the News Thursday that the administration will not allow the leafleting to affect negotiations.
“The leaflets have an alarmist nature about them, when in fact crime at Yale has gone down for each of the past three years,” Conroy said in an email. “We trust that the students and their families who are taking part in Bulldog Days can see this tactic for what it is.”
In addition to a letter about negotiations from YPBA President Rich Simons, the distributed pamphlets listed headlines and quotes from New Haven Register and the News’ articles about crime in the city. These included March’s “Two Shot at Toad’s Place,” and September’s “Gunfight Breaks Out On College Street.”
“The security of the Yale community depends to a great extent on the manner in which our members perform their duty,” Simons wrote in the pamphlet. “We respectfully request your support in our quest to achieve a fair and equitable contract settlement,” he added.
Simons said outside Commons Thursday afternoon that he and his fellow executive board members and off-duty YPD officers had the most success handing out the pamphlets to prospective students’ parents. He said that many parents seemed sympathetic to the union’s cause.
The YPBA has had over 50 negotiation sessions with the University, and Bulldog Days is the second time the union has tried to involve parents in their ongoing contract struggles.
Conroy called the union’s characterization of both the negotiations and the contractual sticking points “inaccurate,” and he said Yale’s proposed officer salary package would include general wage increases for all levels as well as general wage increases and wage adjustments for more experienced patrol officers and detectives.
The YPBA approached contract negotiations in February 2010 with over 70 proposals, Conroy said.