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AFSCME Workers to Vote on New Agreement

Would End "Exigent Circumstances"

Toledo city workers represented by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local #7 will vote Monday on a new tentative agreement. I

It would end the “exigent circumstances” that has rank-and-file in the city’s largest union rankled to the point they want to end their long-time support of Toledo City Council members who voted in favor of the move to unilaterally impose contract concessions. AFSCME Local #7 represents several hundred clerks, along with street, water, sewer, and other workers.

The Bell administration and AFSCME leaders hammered out a memorandum of understanding late last week that ensures the city budget saves the same amount of money as exigent circumstances would have imposed—nearly $900,000.

The exigent circumstances declaration gave the mayor’s office the authority require all city employees to pay their full 10 percent share of a pension contribution, along with a higher contribution toward their health care costs.

However, AFSCME leaders are considering a vote on a lifetime ban on union endorsements targeting a number of city council members, including Republicans Tom Waniewski, George Sarantou, and Rob Ludeman, and Democrats Mike Craig, Adam Martinez, Phil Copeland, and Wilma Brown.

Council president Brown has said publicly she won’t seek another council term. However, Waniewski is running for a state senate seat and Sarantou is seeking the GOP nomination for Lucas County Commissioner this year.

Mayor Mike Bell has left the door open for similar negotiations with other municipal unions, including the Toledo Police Patrolmans Association, some of whose members staged a “blue flu” sick-out earlier this month. Such talks are occurring with AFSCME Local #2058, which represents a small number of city supervisors and middle managers, and the firefighter command officers union.

AFSCME, TPPA, and the police command officers union all have filed grievances over the exigent circumstances situation.