City vs Union: Decision for Day 1 of layoffs

Report by Lisa Rantala - email | bio
Posted by LS

TOLEDO (WTOL) - 400 Toledo city employees received notice they'd be laid off next week.

Through an agreement in court, that number went down by more than 75% Friday, November 21.

The fight against the furloughs took a major turn Friday, but both the unions and the city are not changing their stance. The agreement for today only affects the furlough for next Wednesday. The remaining two days in December are still as scheduled.

An agreement signed last minute in court means more than 300 Toledo city jobs spared from a one-day chopping block.

"They say it's a victory, but it's not. It's not a victory for anybody. Everybody is going to be harmed out of this," says Czerniak.

Unions AFSCME Local 7, Local 2058 and Teamsters Local 20 filed a temporary restraining order against the city this week.

It was to fight three days of furloughs that the mayor claimed would have saved the city more than $1 million.

Those now affected 71 employees who work in departments like administration, finance, payroll and tax collection. All utility workers have been spared because of the 10% surcharge from taxpayers' water and sewer bills that go straight into the general fund. "To lay those people off was going to harm the general fund," says Don Czerniak from Local 7.

Positions that were never the target are police, fire and tax collection.

Along with the agreement, both parties told the judge they will work through an arbitrator to try to resolve the remaining days in December in which 400 employees could be laid off again.

Union representatives tell us they expect the arbitration should resolve the remaining two days. The court will keep jurisdiction over this case, but the judge is urging the two parties to resolve the matter themselves.

As for the lack of savings this will mean for the city, union reps say they don't predict it will lead to more permanent layoffs in the year to come.