IFD union contract concerns committee

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2000

Thursday, September 14, 2000

Questions concerning the firefighters’ union contract are sending the Ironton City Council Finance Committee members to an expert.

The committee’s Wednesday meeting was called to order promptly at 4:30 p.m. followed by a motion to recess into executive session for further discussions of the contract.

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Committee members invited Mayor Bob Cleary, Councilman Richard Price and city finance director Cindy Anderson to the executive session.

"The fire union contract expired the last day of March," Councilman Jesse Roberts said. "The city has been in negotiations since then because we have had some unanswered questions concerning that contract."

Council Chairman Jim Tordiff said the concerns are the result explanations of the contract the city’s union consultant Bob Cross of Cross Management presented to members of council.

"There were explanations given to us by the consultant that we didn’t understand," Tordiff said. "What really made last night’s finance meeting so difficult for us is that he wasn’t there to provide answers for our questions."

He said before a final agreement could be reached, the consultant needed to be contacted for more detailed explanations.

"They deal with these issues on a daily basis," he said. "We only deal with them every three or four years, so it makes it harder for us to understand certain aspects of the union contracts. When we’re in a time when our finances are so tight, anything that has a financial ramification on our budget, we have to go over it with a fine toothed comb. Anything that increases our budget has to be considered in a responsible manner."

Roberts said the committee would be unable to act on the contract until the questions were answered.

"We’re not trying to deny these guys of anything," he said. "We simply want a better understanding of the union contract before we decide to act on it. We have several questions about several items requested in the contract and I think it is imperative for us to have a clear understanding on anything we make a decision on."