Loading…
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeNewsLocal
Published: Thursday, 4/30/2009

There never was a tentative contract with police union, says Finkbeiner

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA AND TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said Thursday there was never a tentative labor agreement reached earlier this week with the city s patrolmen and accused the union s president of misleading the public.

Contrary to comments made by [Toledo Police Patrolman s Association] President Dan Wagner, the city and TPPA never had an agreement on a new contract, Mr. Finkbeiner said.

I don t like commenting on this, but it is necessary because Mr. Wagner deliberately misled the media and public to believe an agreement had been reached by the city and the TPPA.

Mayor Finkbeiner on Wednesday rejected an offer on a new contract that Mr. Wagner said was agreed upon late Tuesday by himself and Robert Reinbolt, the mayor s chief of staff.

Mr. Wagner told The Blade Wednesday night he was surprised to receive a phone call from Police Chief Mike Navarre informing him there was no deal since he and Mr. Rein bolt had reached a gentlemen s agreement sealed with a handshake less than 24 hours earlier.

Mr. Wagner attacked the mayor and his staff Wednesday night.

After what transpired [Wednesday], we know they are not men of their words, and there is no point in bargaining with those men, Mr. Wagner said.

He said the union s plan would have saved the city enough money to avoid the Finkbeiner administration s planned layoffs of 150 police officers on Friday. Mr. Reinbolt disagreed.

In his prepared statement Thursday, Mr. Finkbeiner said representatives of the city and the TPPA met Tuesday and discussed three major issues.

The TPPA offered to roll back the city s paying of the employees share of their pension contribution for 12 months in exchange for the city s promise there would be no police layoffs this summer, the statement said.

In addition, the city would give an extra five weeks off with pay to each TPPA member during the next 12 months.

Dan Wagner Dan Wagner
THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY Enlarge | Buy This Photo

The mayor s statement said that offer was not a fair exchange, and it doesn t come close to balancing the city s $21 million budget deficit.

It also said: That took place in an informal, off the record, discussion Tuesday evening. There was no agreement or papers signed. Mr. Wagner was told the discussed points would be reviewed with finance and then would require approval of the mayor and city council.

The mayor said Mr. Wagner irresponsibly mischaracterized the labor negotiations between the city and TPPA for the better part of the year and called him an actor [who] loves the stage and is accomplishing little for his fellow union members by so betraying this historic labor-management guidepost.

He said the city simply cannot trust Mr. Wagner to abide by long held labor guidelines that participants should keep conversations confidential and negotiate a contract behind closed doors not in the media.

Mr. Reinbolt said the mayor rejected the agreement because they didn t want to give us all the concessions we requested and that the city was still too far from balancing the city s deficit.

<br>
  Dan Wagner, president of the patrolmen s union, said he, Police Chief Mike Navarre, and mayoral Chief of Staff Robert Rein bolt reached a  gentlemen s agreement  on a deal Tuesday night and sealed it with a handshake.
<br>
  The union s offer on Tuesday included eliminating the 10 percent pension contribution, but in exchange the officers would be given 26 extra paid days off.
<br>
  But  Mayor Carty Finkbeiner yesterday rejected the tentative agreement.
<br>
  Mr. Wagner said the union s plan would have saved the city enough money to avoid the planned layoffs of 150 police officers tomorrow. But Mr. Reinbolt disagreed.
<br>
  Mr. Reinbolt said the mayor rejected the agreement because  they didn t want to give us all the concessions we requested. <br> Dan Wagner, president of the patrolmen s union, said he, Police Chief Mike Navarre, and mayoral Chief of Staff Robert Rein bolt reached a gentlemen s agreement on a deal Tuesday night and sealed it with a handshake. <br> The union s offer on Tuesday included eliminating the 10 percent pension contribution, but in exchange the officers would be given 26 extra paid days off. <br> But Mayor Carty Finkbeiner yesterday rejected the tentative agreement. <br> Mr. Wagner said the union s plan would have saved the city enough money to avoid the planned layoffs of 150 police officers tomorrow. But Mr. Reinbolt disagreed. <br> Mr. Reinbolt said the mayor rejected the agreement because they didn t want to give us all the concessions we requested.
Enlarge

During negotiations with the police union, the mayor sought a one-year, 10 percent pay cut, an end to paying the employees 10 percent contribution for their share to the police pension fund, and a contribution to the city s health-care costs.

The employee share of the pension is on top of the employer s contribution of 19.5 percent.

The union s offer on Tuesday included eliminating the pension contribution, but in exchange the officers would be given 26 extra paid days off.

Mr. Wagner said the union would not agree to any more negotiating sessions and instead would wait for a second fact-finding meeting scheduled for May 28.

The police union and the administration have been negotiating off and on since October, but a breakthrough occurred last Friday after a mutually selected fact-finder told both sides how he saw the situation.

I guess we go back to fact-finding and see what happens and if a fact-finder report comes back and our people don t like it we will reject it, go to binding arbitration, and we would be without a contract until 2010, Mr. Wagner said Wednesday.

The administration has budgeted $46.4 million in base wages for the police department for this year.

The city has notified 150 police officers they would be laid off Friday.

Nearly half of the 130 patrolmen on the layoff list were handed information on unemployment benefits and other employment during a meeting at One Government Center on Wednesday.

The layoffs are among 242 furloughs of city workers ordered by Mr. Finkbeiner because city tax revenue has plummeted along with the domestic auto industry and the national economy.

Even with the layoffs, Mr. Reinbolt said the city is far from balancing its general-fund budget.

The informal agreement discussed with TPPA [Tuesday] night during a confidential meeting was analyzed by the city administration today to determine the financial impact, Mr. Reinbolt said in a statement Wednesday night.

After review by our finance department, the concessions requested by TPPA were not sufficient to help balance the budget and still left a deficit of more than $14 million.

He said union contract negotiations would continue.

The city is also negotiating with the Toledo Police Command Officers Association; Local 92 Firefighters; AFSCME Local 2058 Supervisors, and Local 7 Communication Operators.

The mayor has asked City Council to approve his plan to increase the city s monthly trash fee, collect more income taxes from Toledoans who work outside the city, and to suspend for 12 months all contributions to the city employees share into the state retirement pension system.

Council has delayed voting on those measures until a deal is struck with the police union.

Contact Ignazio Messina at:imessina@theblade.comor 419-724-6171.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.



Poll