Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Amid budget woes, Tampa mayor proposes pay raises for union workers

TAMPA — Despite a $27 million shortfall, Mayor Pam Iorio's preliminary 2011 budget includes $4 million for raises for workers covered by the city's three unions.

"I really don't want to say too much about it right now because we have not started contract negotiations for next year," Iorio said this week.

Last year, facing a shrinking budget due largely to a drop in property tax revenue, Iorio started contract negotiations by saying she would offer no raises. And she didn't include money for that in the 2010 budget.

The unions representing police, firefighters and general employees agreed to forgo annual cost-of-living increases.

The general employees union at first resisted giving up merit raises, but gave in during contract negotiations.

The firefighter and police unions, though, fought until the end to keep so-called step raises, which are awarded as they gain experience during their early years on the job.

The police officers took the contract dispute to the City Council, but failed to win support. That prompted the firefighters to reach an agreement with Iorio.

Throughout negotiations, the police and fire unions said they were worried eliminating the step increases for one year showed an intent to eliminate them forever.

Iorio, though, said that wasn't true and pledged to revisit the issue.

"Everyone pulled together and everyone did without raises last year," Iorio said. That saved jobs, she said. "It was a very difficult time," she said. "The same holds true this year. I think you'll be able to make that case for many, many years in the future."

Still, last year's contract negotiations made it clear how important the step and merit increases are, particularly to the police and fire unions, which use them as a recruiting tool.

"We cannot just continue to put together budgets that do not include step increases," she said.

Jace Kohan, secretary-treasurer of the firefighters union, said he was glad to know the budget included money for the step increases.

"Of course, we're all for it. We'll just see when we start negotiating, where they stand," he said. "That was our only sticking point last year."

Janet Zink can be reached at jzink@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3401.

Amid budget woes, Tampa mayor proposes pay raises for union workers 03/10/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 11:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Mumford and Sons shower Amalie Arena with love in euphoric Tampa debut

    Blogs

    There are releases, and then there are releases. And minutes into their concert Wednesday at Amalie Arena, Mumford and Sons gave Tampa the latter.

    Mumford and Sons performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. FEMA to open disaster recovery center in Riverview

    Hurricanes

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will open a disaster recovery center Thursday in Riverview for Hillsborough County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma.

  3. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  4. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  5. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest

    Health

    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]