Despite Budget Vote, City Services Still in Limbo

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On Tuesday, the mayor and council members told city staff to withdraw the tentative agreement reached with the fire union.  City Spokeswoman Wendy Klock-Johnson says the council felt the four-year contract was simply too long.
Klock-Johnson: “They did not feel comfortable with that extra year, that fourth year in the contract.  Based on the economic uncertainty that we’re in, that it would be too difficult and uncertain to go ahead and commit to that last year.” 
But Chris Harvey with the fire union says the city has created “a very high level of mistrust.”
Harvey: “We’ve attempted to give back our regularly-scheduled cost-of-living increase in exchange for guarantees that current levels of public safety in Sacramento wouldn’t be cut.  And the city has continued to negotiate in bad faith.” 
City officials are still in talks with the union that represents the bulk of Sacramento’s non-public safety employees.
City officials say the jobs of more than 160 employees, including around 50 fire fighters, depend on the labor concessions.  They say the deadline for all union deals is the end of the month.