Now three months into the budget year that began July 1, Mayor Bill Finch is trying to close an $8 million budget hole. He’s asking city unions to step up. Several of the unions, particularly the larger bargaining units, say they’ve given enough. A few of the smaller unions have agreed to concessions, but the city will need givebacks from the larger unions to avoid layoffs. The mayor announced Wednesday he’s giving back three days, plus increasing his healthcare premium. This announcement represents roughly 40 city employees (waiting on a firm number from the mayor’s office). From the mayor:
Mayor Finch Announces Unaffiliated Employee Givebacks
Employees giving up 3 days, healthcare co-payment moves up to 25%
Mayor Bill Finch today announced that the City’s unaffiliated employees, including the Mayor, will give back three days via furloughs and increase their healthcare premium cost-share co-payment to 25 percent – nearly two years ahead of schedule – in order to meet their budget concession obligation. In addition, three vacancies will remain unfilled during the 2010-2011 budget year. The total cost savings for all three actions totals $344,686, which is $25,269 more than the targeted amount for concessions.
The City Council approved the $469,371,315 2010-2011 budget with an $8 million dollar shortfall. The City notified all 12 of its unions last spring that concessions would be necessary to close the budget gap, assigning each union a dollar amount that could be reached through a combination of furloughs or salary freezes for a total of $6.8 million. The remaining $1.2 million would result from benefits-related cost reductions associated with salaries such as pension and other fringe benefits.
“Unaffiliated, appointed and elected employees must shoulder their share of the budget shortfall. Since I’ve taken office we have frozen positions and salaries, consolidated jobs, taken pay cuts and furloughs and decreased spending in order to close budget gaps,” said Mayor Finch. “And, in just a couple of years, we will have gone from nearly 100 take-home cars to only three take-home vehicles – the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, and my car – for additional savings in the budget.”
Unaffiliated employees will take three furlough days to meet their obligation. The premium cost-share co-payment will increase to 25 percent as of January 1, 2011, nearly two years ahead of schedule.
“We’ve sacrificed in the past, and I’m sure we’ll be called upon to do so again in the future,” said Mayor Finch. “We’re all in this together, and I will do whatever it takes to not increase taxes for our already overburdened taxpayers.”
Another Shooting, From CT Post:
Give Us Some Good News, Will Ya?
HUD TO MAKE MAJOR FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT TO EASE THE IMPACT OF FORECLOSURES THROUGHOUT BRIDGEPORT AND CONNECTICUT
Third round of NSP grants to build on efforts to confront abandonment and blight
BRIDGEPORT – U.S. Housing and Urban Development New England Regional Administrator Richard Walega will make a major funding announcement to help stabilize neighborhoods in Bridgeport and throughout Connecticut hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis.
Regional Administrator Walega, Congressman Jim Himes, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Joan McDonald, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and other state and local leaders will host a news conference at the Bridgeport home of a family assisted through HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Neighborhood Stabilization Program Announcement at 574 Birmingham Street:
When: Thursday, September 9, 2010, 11:30 a.m.
Where: 574 Birmingham Street, Bridgeport, CT
Who: HUD New England Regional Administrator Richard A. Walega
Congressman Jim Himes
Commissioner Joan McDonald, CT Depart. of Economic and Community Dev.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch
Party With The Big Wave
The ROMA CLUB Bus Trip To:
The Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy, NYC
Saturday, September 18, 2010
$30 per person – members
$35 per person – non-members
Bus leaves from Hawley Lane commuter parking lot, Trumbull, Connecticut at 2:30 p.m. sharp. On return trip, passengers will meet at 8:30 at a designated spot. Bus will depart NYC at 9:00 p.m.
For information and reservations call:
Chris Caruso at 203-374-1655
Reservations must be made by September 11, 2010
Space is limited!
Come join the fun!!