PHOENIX (AP) _ A judge has permanently blocked Phoenix from paying police officers who do union work, finding that the practice violates the state constitution because it doesn't benefit the public.
The ruling issued Wednesday by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper also applies to any other contracts the city has with its unions.
The suit was filed by the Goldwater Institute, which renewed its challenge after a new contract continued a practice Cooper had previously ruled was illegal.
Cooper blocked the provisions of the new contract in April and held a trial in November. Wednesday's ruling makes that earlier injunction permanent.
Phoenix was paying six full-time officers to handle union work, providing more than 1,800 additional hours of pay and two more officers to respond to major incidents.
COUNCILMAN SAL DICICCIO’S STATEMENT:
“This ruling stops the practice of taxpayers funding union activity in Phoenix and will have statewide and possibly nationally implications. This is taxpayer money that should be used to end domestic violence, end human trafficking and put more police officers in our neighborhoods. In the past, that money has been used to fund union activity instead of these vital services to the public.”