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Metro Newsroom

Four Union Contracts Presented to Metro Council

Wednesday February 1, 2012

Financial analysis to be part of discussion

Four new union contracts which cover about 100 carpenters, fire majors, electricians and other city employees will be presented to the Louisville Metro Council today.

As part of the presentation, Chief Financial Officer Steve Rowland will provide a financial analysis so council members and the public will know the additional costs to taxpayers of the new contracts.

The analysis was ordered by Mayor Greg Fischer and will be included with all future union contracts presented to Council, as part of the administration’s commitment to increased transparency.

“We need to understand, analyze and monitor how every dollar is being spent in city government and this is one step of many to achieve that goal,” Fischer said.

The four contracts up for Council approval are Firemen and Oilers; Fire Majors; Carpenters; and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Fischer said that, after these four contracts are presented, the administration will begin a new era in union negotiations, working directly with union leadership to ensure the total costs of union agreements are more consistent with anticipated city revenues.

Fischer said his goal to bring the city budget into structural balance – where revenues at least equal expenses — to avoid the problems that other cities nationwide are facing, up to and including bankruptcy.

“By law, and good business practice, we have to balance our budget,” Fischer said.

Negotiations for the four contracts being presented started up to 18 month ago and recently concluded. To not proceed with these contracts would most likely lead to challenges of unfair labor practice.

“The four contacts being presented for approval this week are so far into the negotiation phase that we could not start again without legal issues,” Fischer said.