The history of unionism in the Salt Lake City Police Department is a mirror of the nation's experience in police activism. The Salt Lake City Police Mutual Aid Association, established in 1911, was a social organization formed to provide an outside support group for officers and their families. The PMAA was the sole organization for Salt Lake City officers until the early 1970's, when officers began flirting with unionizing. Frustrated with dismal pay and stupefying working conditions, City officers ignored threats from government officials and scathing criticism in the press and formed a local of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers. With the support and strength of the national union, officers made significant gains in improving their terms of employment with the City.

In 1978, Salt Lake City government finally gave formal recognition to the IBPO, and established the first (and to this day, the only) municipal collective bargaining resolution in Utah. City leaders came to realize the value of participatory management, and offered police officers the opportunity to help shape their own future.

The officers struggled with their new-found organizational muscle, and internal strife racked the Union. The IBPO was dropped in favor of independence, then affiliation with the Western Alliance of Government Employees and AFSCME. In 1984, the Salt Lake Police Association was formed as an independent Union, and won recognition by the City as the exclusive bargaining agent for the officers. In 1990, the Association affiliated with the International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO, and finally became a part of the mainstream American labor movement.

In 2014 The Association disaffiliated with IUPA and the AFL-CIO and became a standalone Union again.  The Association stands with the Utah State AFL-CIO in legislative issues to preserve retirement, collective bargaining and other labor issues although no longer an affiliate.

Page Last Updated: Oct 20, 2023 (13:15:32)
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