Budget Meet and Confer Update
On Friday January 15, MEA’s negotiating team spent four hours negotiating with the City about its budget plan, with the majority of the time being spent on the Library and Police Department budgets.
For Library, we made a formal counter proposal to the Department’s proposed new schedules for both the branches and central, consistent with the majority view of Library employees who provided feedback to MEA and attended the meeting on January 5. We also discussed a number of other issues and information requests in keeping with what was discussed at the January 5 meeting. We are waiting to hear back from the City on our specific proposals, and we will keep you updated as soon as we have something to report. While Library administration promised an open mind and a comprehensive review, suffice it to say that their initial reaction to MEA’s proposed alternative schedules was less than positive.
With respect to PD, we continued to confront the City with the inconsistencies in its budget plan to lay off more than 80 civilian employees. In one sense the session was extremely frustrating because the City clearly had not thought through its decision and refused to consider alternatives. On the other hand, we gained a significant amount of valuable information that we will continue to use to try to affect a different outcome. Today, we sent a detailed, 5-page letter to the City outlining both the substantive and legal problems with the City’s budget position in PD. We will keep you informed of any response, but in any event we will give you an update early next week about where things are and where we see them going.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact your representatives at MEA if you have questions or need more information on any issue.