Iorio and unions in a standoff
Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio met yesterday with City Council members to hammer home her reasons for not conceding to demands of the unions. Among the requests she objects to: More time off for police, higher tuition reimbursements for firefighters, and a a six-month window for disciplining general employees who go astray. The biggest sticking point, though, is a request for so-called "step increases" awarded to police officers and firefighters as they rise through the ranks. Both public safety unions have said they're willing to forgo cost-of-living raises this year. But they want to keep the step increases in place, arguing that eliminating them this year paves the way for doing away for them permanently. "That's the start of the slippery slope," said Rick Cochran, second vice president of the police union. The police contract is likely to go to the council for a vote next month. Read more about it here and here.
Janet Zink, Times staff writer