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Council to consider hiring labor negotiator

By Staff | May 1, 2010

City Council will begin exploring the use of an outside labor negotiator on Monday, a discussion Mayor John Sullivan said council desperately needs to have.
He said the forthcoming budget cycle could leave everyone unhappy, and that city council is going to have to make tough decisions.
“We’re going to take a lot of heat for it and take lumps, but hard decisions are going to be made,” he said.
He said he’d like to primarily see cuts happen with employee benefits.
“I don’t want to hurt anybody, but if the city employees aren’t willing to go along there’s three choices: Cut salary, cut benefits, or cut staff,” he said.
So far, four firms and one individual, a retired labor negotiator from Illinois, have answered the city’s request for qualifications.
Sullivan said he would like to see a labor negotiator team, one lawyer and another person, someone who can drive a hard bargain.
Most importantly, he said he’d like to see a “go-getter”, or someone with a lot of fortitude and plenty of experience.
“We need someone that’s done this before,” Sullivan said. “Seems I would prefer it be two different people, one to keep the other guy straight and the other guy to drive a hard bargain.”
City council’s workshop is 4:30 pm, Monday, May 3, in city council chambers.