I-Team questions Collins about raise for Toledo union - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

I-Team questions Collins about raise for Toledo union

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Toledo, OH -

Toledo city council has approved a raise for a union that supported Mayor Mike Collins in his election.  That has the 13abc I-Team asking why and what this could mean for future negotiations.

It was approved here by the council in an 11-1 vote today, a 2.5% raise for 911 operators.  Part of a bargaining unit that supported now Mayor Collins in the November election.  So the I-Team asked him today if this was a quid pro quo deal.

"I'm looking at the quality of performance by our employees and there is no quid pro quo.  I'm not doing this as a response to union support," said Mayor Collins.

That was Collins after his support of the 2.5% raise for the 65 operators at a total cost of 97-thousand dollars.  They also get 2 and half more sick days with this deal.  These workers are part of AFSCME Local 7, a union that supported Collins in his successful run against former Mayor Mike Bell.

Collins says this is not payback to the union.  It's part of a 2011 deal from the Bell administration.  That agreement spelled out talks of a new salary discussion in 2014.  The Collins administration exercised that and agreed on the 2.5% raise, even though Collins admits he could have said no to the increase.

With a tight 2014 city budget, that is taking money from capital costs like roads, to balance the general fund, Collins believes this was a good financial decision.

"No I'm not reacting because of what the unions supported me on.  I'm acting what I believe to be as fundamentally fair," said Collins. 

Collins says his office is cutting $350,000 so that would offset this $97,000.   The I-Team asked him what this will mean for future negotiation with unions.  Collins says more of this AFSCME is up in June, but he won't speculate on what that deal would look like. 

 

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