Miami Tells Unions To Redo Contracts Because Of ‘Fiscal Urgency’

MIAMI, FL &#8211 Facing a $61 million budget deficit for 2012, the City of Miami has told its four major unions that they must renegotiate their labor agreements or face cuts.

City Manager Johnny Martinez issued the following one-paragraph memo to the mayor and city commissioners:

Declaration of Fiscal Urgency:

Please be advised that I am declaring a financial urgency pursuant to section 447.4095, Florida Statutes, with regard to our collective bargaining obligations involving the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 20, AFSCME Local 1907, AFSCME Local 871, and International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 587. By separate letter, the City’s collective bargaining negotiating team will contact the representatives of these employee organizations and begin the (14) day period of negotiations.

Johnny Martinez, P. E.
City Manager

The state statute referenced in Martinez’s memo allows a city to make whatever changes to labor contracts it deems necessary to balance its budget.

Miami Firefighters President Robert Suarez was taken by surprise by the city manager’s decision.

“I wish there was better communication back and forth,” Suarez said. “There’s the city I deal with at the negotiating table and the city I read about in press releases. I just exchanged emails with the city’s legal team and we have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow.”

Source: The Miami Herald