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Published: Tuesday, 5/12/2009

Mayor Finkbeiner, city council, agree on plan to speed labor talks


Toledo city council, after an hour-long closed-door meeting with Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, voted Tuesday to agree to an expedited arbitration schedule with the union representing city police officers.

Negotiations between the city and the Toledo Polcie Patrolmen's Association broke down last month over demands by Mayor Finkbeiner that the union accept a 10 percent pay cut, agree to pay their 10 percent share of pension payments, and begin making contributions to help pay for a portion of their health insurance premiums.

The city and the union have met once with a fact-finder, but were not able to negotiate a deal. They are scheduled to meet May 28 for a second time.

The proposal from the mayor, which council accepted, means a decision on police concessions may be made as much as three months sooner than what was expected. The change, if approved by the police officers' union, would allow the fact-finder to issue a binding decision on both sides.

"The sooner we can get determination the better. We help ourselves by not losing the three month's of revenue enhancements and cost savings," Mr. Finkbeiner said.

Council members have repeatedly told the mayor they will not vote on his proposals to increase the city's monthly garbage fees or his plan to require city residents who work outside the city to pay city income taxes until he gains concessions from city labor unions.

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