From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:
Two city unions–the 700-member National Association of Government Employees and the 130-person supervisors–have given Mayor Joe Ganim some of the concessions his budget needs.
Specifically, both collective bargaining groups agreed Thursday night to give up one year of negotiated 2.5 percent raises in 2017. Combined, those givebacks, according to union estimates, add up to roughly $700,000 of the $4 million hole built into the city budget that went into effect July 1.
The mayor originally wanted other future raises canceled, and for union members to accept 10 unpaid furlough days. Ganim dropped those demands several weeks back, then eventually offered two years’ worth of job security in exchange for Thursday’s concessions.
According to both unions-and most importantly, for the their members–the mayor also agreed to cancel a few dozen layoffs that had been ordered last Friday.
Full story here.
*** Too little, too late, no? ***
This is nothing to celebrate. It’s another symptom of a city in crisis.
The budget assumed City fathers would have to shake employees up enough with furloughs, layoffs or other ‘labor negotiating tactics’ to complete this REVENUE ASSUMPTION of $4 Million. These are the first reports and the City did not get all it asked for. More work to ‘clawback’ revenue already allocated to salaries rather than focus on economic development? We are already in deep water up to the tops of our red boots and there is little positive motion showing, no priorities spoken of and the Mayor using video two days after an audience of 400 taxpayers was available to hear his comments that could have shown how well he listened to their comments. I, as others have, commend him for staying at the ‘non-meeting’ since they sent the secretary home, shut the taxpayer-paid videos off also, and stayed with a handful or two of Council members who had no “meeting to attend” at 8:00 PM on a Council meeting night. But I have asked myself where would Bill Finch have been, and I find myself in agreement, he would not have been there in the Mayor’s chair listening for two hours to people providing critique of his past eight months. The bottom line? Time will tell.
This is a bad deal for the taxpayers of Bridgeport. When is the Mayor going to rightsize City government and move to restructure the retiree health care plan? A Mayor should NEVER give away the right to engage in needed unpaid furloughs. We need major restructuring and not modest reforms.