Florida Public Employees
January 17, 2014
By: Elaine De Valle, Ladra – Political Cortadito
Mayor Carlos Gimenez‘s alleged solution to the impasse with employee unions who want a the promised return of a 5% group healthcare contribution they’ve been giving since 2009 is to only give it back if he can whack their salaries — which is what the county obviously wanted in the first place.
He calls that a compromise. I call it unfair labor practices. Folks on the other side of the negotiating table have more colorful terms.
That last one piqued my interest. Because over and over again, union leaders told Ladra that it would be illegal for the mayor to propose anything, for the commission to consider anything other than the 5% concession they began giving in 2009 to help out in hard times. The one that was supposed to expire Jan. 1, according to their contract. The one that the mayor broke the county’s promise on.
The only thing that can be presented, they said, is the 5% — whether to keep or eliminate it.
Yet, at today’s impasse hearing, commissioners could hear about a 3.5% salary cut that would allow the county to give back the 5% to the 11 county unions at impasse. The mayor wants to talk about another option he has created — one-time bonuses for the lowest paid workers to offset the money grab. But, wait. If it’s needed for the health care, why can you do these things? Because it’s not needed for the healthcare. This 5% is a sham that was perpetrated on the employees to shore up the operating budget.
And maybe the 3.5% pay cut is where the county wanted to go in the first place.
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