Miami, police union agreement collapses over contract length

MIAMI, FL &#8211 The city of Miami and its police officers were “this close” to a labor agreement before the intense week long negotiations collapsed Monday. The two sides had agreed upon cuts in wages and benefits to cover the remaining $12 million of the city’s $62 million budget deficit, but the deal fell through over the length of the agreement.

The city signed one-year contracts with the its three other municipal unions &#8211 sanitation, general employees and firefighters &#8211 and wants to do the same with its police officers. The police union wants a three-year agreement.

“We were this close to finishing,” said Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar, his thumb and forefinger an inch apart. “It’s obvious they want to screw us every year.”

Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones said she was concerned the city would be sending an unfair message to the three other unions if it agreed to a lengthier contract with police.

“No one up here wants to impose [a new contract],’’ she said. “But it’s like we have no choice.”

From The Miami Herald.

UPDATE: A contract agreement was reached early Wednesday morning (September 28). See our post “Miami Gets Concessions From Police Union, Finalizes 2012 Budget” for more information.