Lack of action by Council creates need for mid-contract negotiations says BellWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell sent sent letters to the City’s collective bargaining units informing them it has again become necessary to enter mid-contract negotiations in order to ensure the 2011 operating budget remains in balance, according to a Dec. 27 media release.
The Mayor’s office said the city’s labor unions are currently scheduled to receive wage increases in 2011 ranging from two percent up to six and one-half percent based on contracts that were passed by Toledo City Council in 2009 and expire in 2011. The pay raises were figured into the Bell administration’s initial budget proposal as submitted to City Council on November 15, 2010.
Council’s recent decision to delay the proposed Ottawa Hills fire merger, is being stated will increase General Fund expenditures by $420,000. Council’s decision to also delay passage of the proposed utility rate increases will add to the deficit said the Mayor’s office.
The Bell administration has also proposed the elimination of the collection of solid waste services which is still before Council A deadline of February 2011 has been placed on that proposal. The media release from the Mayor’s office stated that Council appears to be resistant to the proposal. The City claims this would save $2.8 million in the General Fund if implemented by September 2011.
In total the necessary General Fund savings amount to approximately $3.2 million, which is roughly the cost of the scheduled pay increases for General Fund employees.
“I don’t see how we as a city can justify pay increases on the backs of our constituents when we are not willing to make the policy changes that will save this community money and create greater efficiency in the long run,” Mayor Bell said in the release. “It is an unacceptable option when others in city government are unwilling to change the way we do business.”
The administration has requested a response from each union no later than noon on Monday, January 3, 2011.