The only city councilor to oppose recent union contracts that the city is now trying to renogiate said Thursday his colleagues and Mayor Art Ward should have taken a harder line on the pay agreements.
Republican Ken Cockayne said the unions deserve kudos for returning to the bargaining table “when they don’t have to” in a bid to change terms to help taxpayers.
But, he said, “it’s unfortunate it had to come to this.”
Cockayne said the pay hikes negotiated by Ward and approved by the City Council during the past couple of years were too generous given “the writing was on the wall” about the economy.
“The mayor was giving out raises,” he said, when it was clear the city might have a hard time paying for them.“We gave out 4 percent raises” to the police, Cockayne said, “and now we’re asking for something back. It’s ridiculous.”
Here's the story about the police contract that Cockayne opposed. The four-year deal actually has 3.5 percent raises for each of its final two years, not 4 percent. Interestingly, Cockayne did say in that story, which ran last June, that he had no problem with the pay hikes granted to the police.
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