Former UC Officer Alleges Contract Violation

Jul 31, 2015

Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing is fighting to get his job back.
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The University of Cincinnati police officer accused of murder was fired from his job this week.  And he wants that job back.

Ray Tensing has filed a grievance against the University of Cincinnati.  Tensing was fired from his position as a police officer after he was indicted by a grand jury for murder Wednesday.  Fraternal Order of Police-Ohio Labor Council representative Thomas Fehr says Tensing was let go without due process, and says that is a violation of his contract.

Fehr says in order for Tensing to be fired the University must show just cause and grant a pre-disciplinary hearing.

"An indictment, a charge doesn't make a conviction."

  Fehr says the dismissal without due process is unusual.  “Most of the employers that we deal with, a great, great majority of the employers that we deal with, follow the contract.”

“What most of the agencies that we deal with do when they have a situation like this, when an officer is criminally charged, they allow the court process to take its course first.  An indictment, a charge doesn’t make a conviction.”  He says the University, for whatever reason, elected not to do that.

Fehr says the grievance will go to a hearing with UC's human resources department.  He says if the union doesn't like the decision, the case will go to an arbitrator.  He says arbitration can take six to 12 months.  “When someone is terminated we certainly try to get that arbitration fast-tracked.  We don’t want them waiting any longer on the their job status than need be,” Fehr says.

The Fraternal Order of Police-Ohio Labor Council represents not only police officers, but also dispatchers, corrections officers and other security officers.

Fehr says, in this case, the union is not seeking a settlement.

“We want his job back; that’s what we want.  Obviously there can be negotiations for other things if the officer would tell us to work towards that.  But we’re not asking for a settlement, we’re asking for his job, for him to be reinstated.”

Tensing was arraigned Thursday morning, in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.  He pleaded not guilty and received a $1 million bond.