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Published: Tuesday, 12/23/2008

City to appeal arbitrator’s ruling

BLADE STAFF

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said Tuesday the city will appeal an arbitrator’s ruling that struck down his plan to furlough city workers for three days to save an estimated $300,000.

Also, the mayor said he was ordering an additional one-day layoff for non-union city workers Jan. 2 and a one-week layoff in February for all nonessential city workers to help balance the 2009 budget.

The mayor said he disagreed with the ruling by arbitrator Robert Stein and he criticized the city unions for refusing to cooperate.

The unions — American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Locals 7 and 2058 and Teamsters Local 20 — sued after the mayor ordered a three-day furlough for nonessential workers. The case was referred to an arbitrator mutually selected by the city and by the unions.

The furloughs were to take place Nov. 26, Dec. 26, and Dec. 31.

Mr. Finkbeiner said the furloughs, along with Jan. 2, will continue to take place with exempt employees. Approximately 105 unionized employees who were forced to take a day without pay Nov. 26 must be made whole, the arbitrator ruled.

The arbitrator recognized that the city is in a financial emergency and has to make layoffs. But he ruled that one-day furloughs are not allowed in the contracts.

Mr. Finkbeiner said Mr. Stein’s decision doesn’t make sense, and that because he lives in the Columbus area he does not appreciate the severity of the Toledo’s budget deficit.



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