Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016
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Toledo union to do revote next week

Members of the City of Toledo’s largest employee union will have to vote again, likely next week, on a tentative agreement with the city on wages and benefit cuts.

More than 600 of the nearly 800 members of Local 7, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, who were eligible to vote did turn out Thursday afternoon to hear details of the deal and to cast ballots.

But by late evening, the election committee concluded that it could not certify the election because more ballots had been cast than signatures recorded, said Steve Kowalik, a staff representative of Ohio AFSCME Council 8.

“We don’t know what the heck happened,” Mr. Kowalik said. “In saying all that, we’re going to rectify it next week with a re-vote.”

Toledo Deputy Mayor Steve Herwat declined to comment.

Neither provided details of the tentative agreement.

The city originally sought to impose a wage freeze and benefit cuts consistent with recommendations made by an independent fact finder. AFSCME members overwhelmingly rejected that proposal.

On Sept. 20, Toledo City Council members asked the Bell administration to resume talks.

The city has said wage and benefits concessions are necessary to ease a projected $5 million to $8 million deficit for 2011 and a $10 million shortfall in 2012.

Without changes to employee benefit packages, Toledo officials say they would have to lay off 130 city workers by November and eliminate funding for residential street repairs, recreation, and senior citizen programs, city officials maintain.

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