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Collective bargaining agreement vote postponed by council

By Staff | Jul 18, 2011

By DREW WINCHESTER
dwinchester@breezenewspapers.com
City Council postponed discussing the collective bargaining agreements for the police and fire departments Monday, waiting instead for union members to take their own vote of confidence in the contracts.
Councilmember Bill Deile is worried that voting to accept the terms of the contract before the unions would set a precedent for future negotiations. Unions generally accept the terms before council votes to adopt.
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz said he feel it’s important to hear the voice of the union members.
“I don’t know what our firefighters want,” he said. “What the rank and file wants is different from what their union negotiators negotiated.”
Council chose to postpone the discussion until Aug. 8, a workshop meeting. Tentative agreements call for pay decreases and pension increases.
In other news, City Council will set the tentative millage rate next week during its regularly scheduled voting meeting.
The tentative millage rate didn’t draw a lot of discussion Monday, but Mayor John Sullivan said the public would have plenty of chances to let its feelings be known.
Councilmember Pete Brandt said he approved of the work and discussion the Finance Advisory Committee had on Monday regarding the budget.
Council will also vote next week to award $211,647 to a company called Crowther, to re-roof the old city hall and public safety building.
The Public Works Department will eventually call the building home once renovations are complete.