Contract negotiations to continue

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

After months of frustration, Ironton city workers may be closer to having a new contract.

Kenny Miller of the American Federation of State, Local, County and Municipal Employees Local 771, said Thursday night that his union had been unable to get a meeting with Mayor John Elam to negotiate a new contract between the workers and the city.

“Everything is the same as it was, we’ve been promised this and promised that, but nothing’s happened,” Miller said at the meeting of the Ironton City Council. “We need to get this thing resolved.”

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Miller said that his group had heard from the mayor’s office that without a finance director, the negotiations would be stalled.

Normally, discussions for the contracts, which are renewed yearly, begin in the late fall of the year before they expire.

Councilman Rich Blankenship said that he had heard similar complaints from

another one of the city employees, who have been working without a contract since February.

“It’s only fair to everybody that they should know where they stand,”

Blankenship said.

Elam said that he had been unable to negotiate the contracts without the information that a finance director would supply, saying he didn’t want to proceed without the information.

“If we look at 50 cents an hour, I have to know how many hours we’re paying for, if it’s a three percent increase, I have to know three percent … of what?” Elam said. “I’ve just recently received those numbers.”

In the end, Elam agreed to meet with union members the week after next on

June 19.