Dearborn Union Negotiations Moving Forward, But Not Complete, Says Mayor
Three union contracts—including the Dearborn Firefighters union—are still pending.
Dearborn City Council on Tuesday approved three salary plans for city employees—including two union contracts.
The plans—which oversee the salaries for administrative staff, as well as the Municipal Workers of Dearborn and Supervisory, Technical and Professional Employees Union—are in effect retroactively to July 1, 2010, when the contracts ended.
The contracts will open up again in July 2014.
Administrative staff are not part of a union, but the city still negotiates their pay and benefits.
With those approvals, Mayor Jack O'Reilly said, the city has settled three of its six ongoing union negotiations. The first and easiest to reach agreement upon, he said, was the Dearborn Police union.
"They were wonderful to work with," O'Reilly said.
O'Reilly stated this spring that his goal was to have all city departments agree to a 10 percent reduction in costs. So far, they've been successful in getting unions to make necessary cuts to expenditures.
"I didn't say how, but we had to achieve that goal," he said.
Police and fire contracts opened July 1, while other union contracts had been in negotiation for some time. However, O'Reilly was proud to say that none were forced into binding arbitration.
Still on the table are union contracts with the Dearborn Firefighters, Teamsters and police dispatch.
O'Reilly commented Tuesday that they're "very close" to concluding most of the negotiations.
"I'm very optimistic with Teamsters and with dispatch," he said.
Of the firefighters union, he said there's still more discussion to be had.
"We're on the right page and we're getting there," he said. "We all agree on what the target is, but not how to get there."
O'Reilly conceded that all city employees—from his office down the line—are being asked to do more with less.
"And that's hard," he said. "This is just a rough time."