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Unions can’t be allowed to run city

Sometimes the status quo simply isn’t good enough. That is certainly the case when it comes to the City of Ironton’s proposed new contracts with two of its three unions.

Last week, city leaders heard first reading of an ordinance with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees that reflects no significant concessions to help balance the budget, simply allowing six layoffs to fill the financial gap. Council declined to adopt it immediately.

In reality, this contract should have been torn up and the union told to go back to the negotiating table. The mayor, working with the council, must be the one to determine the staffing levels in the city’s service departments. This agreement essentially allows the union to dictate how many employees the city has.

That is unacceptable.

Plus, where will the city go from here? As revenue continues to decline and expenses increase, it is very likely concessions will have to be made next year and the year after.

Who will the unions throw overboard then? If we allow the unions to dictate services, why do we elect a mayor and council?

The police department looks to be taking the same approach.

The firefighters’ union made concessions above and beyond what was needed.

To preserve a system that requires no retirement contribution and an unheard of 5 percent toward health insurance premiums is ludicrous and absolutely not sustainable.

Until these items are addressed the city will never move forward.

Nearly all residents were already asked to pay more through the municipal fee increase and others were hit through income tax changes. The citizens of Ironton cannot be the only ones asked to foot the bill.

The firefighters’ union stepped up and did the right thing. The non-union employees did the same.

Now it’s time for the AFSCME and police unions to do the same.