Toledo Mayor Bell asks unions for concessions
Mon, 03 Jan 2011 21:48:51 GMT —
As we look ahead to the next few months of negotiations and deliberations about Toledo's City budget, it appears initially, as if the Mayor Mike Bell administration has a tough road ahead, meeting resistance from city council and several local unions.
Toledo's 2011 budget deficit is $14.5 million. Mayor Bell's plan to make up some of that money met resistance Monday.
"For us certainly for me personally there is a lot of bad blood" said Alan Cox, AFSCME Local 2058 President
Bell recently requested a meeting with several unions to discuss the possibility of taking away $3.2 million in promised raises.
Monday was the deadline to respond to that request and none responded more harshly than AFSCME Local 2058, who claim they've been waiting for months to meet with Bell on other issues. "We have some critical issues we've been trying to get addressed by the administration and we sent letters and they haven't even acknowledged the letters much less responded to them," said Cox.
Making it hard for him to spend money on raises, Bell says it is city council who has yet to vote on the proposed Ottawa Hills Fire merger where in Ottawa Hills would pay the city $430,000 annually to run their fire services.
"The Ottawa Hills Fire issue was announced in the middle of October of 2010 and in my opinion they had not worked through all the details at that point in time," said Toledo City Councilman Michael Collins
Also on the table for a council vote is a move for the city to contract solid waste collection to Lucas County; a move that could save the city of Toledo another $2.8 million.
Also responding to Mayor Bell's request for a meeting were the Police and Fire unions and AFSCME Local 7, all saying they needed more time to discuss the matter with union leadership.
Mayor Bell's office did not respond to NBC24's requests for an interview.