Naperville police car

A judge for the Illinois Labor Relations Board has dismissed grievances Naperville's police union filed against the city. (Melissa Jenco, Chicago Tribune / March 24, 2014)

A judge for the Illinois Labor Relations Board has dismissed a labor dispute between Naperville and the police union that had been ongoing for more than three years.

The union "has provided no evidence that the City failed or refused to bargain layoffs in good faith," Administrative Law Judge Elaine L. Tarver wrote in a 29-page ruling.

In 2010, the city agreed to pay increases for police following a contentious contract negotiation. Shortly after, it laid off six officers, saying it could not afford the pay hikes, but felt compelled to approve them to avoid having an arbitrator set the wages.

The union alleged the layoffs were a retaliatory move and the city had negotiated in bad faith.

But Tarver sided with the city and said it had made the union aware of its financial condition and given proper notice of the layoffs. The contract both parties had approved detailed benefits that would be given to police officers who lost their jobs, she said.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 42 President Vince Clark released a written statement saying he was "disappointed with the judge's decision, but it will allow the union to put this behind us and move forward.

"The amount of time both parties invested in this has strengthened the working relationship between the union and management," he said.

He went on to encourage the city to fill vacancies in the department.

A written statement from City Manager Doug Krieger also spoke of the "positive relationship" the two sides have developed.

"We all have the same goal — providing the best service to our residents," he wrote.

Within six months of the layoffs, the affected officers were given opportunities to be rehired as positions opened due to retirements.

mjenco@tribune.com | Twitter: @melissajenco