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Last updated: Sat. Jun. 21, 2014 - 07:51 am EDT

Mayor sends City Council four labor contracts it hopes to eliminate

Action would be unnecessary if council ends collective bargaining


On the same night it will consider ending collective bargaining for non-public safety city employees, City Council will also have to consider four contracts that could be rendered meaningless by its vote.

When Mayor Tom Henry vetoed the council's bargaining ban last week, he vowed to send council tentative three-year contracts he had previously withheld for approval during the long and often heated debate over the ordinance. On Tuesday's agenda are contracts with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2569; Chauffers, Teamsters and Helpers Local 414; SEIU Local 1, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 962.

Also submitted for approval is a contract with the Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters Local 124, whose members would receive a 2 percent annual raise each of of the three years.

Council, which could override Henry's veto Tuesday, did not include firefighters and police in its ban, and council is expected to introduce the firefighter contract Tuesday for discussion the following week, said John Crawford, R-at large, one of the sponsors of the anti-bargaining bill.

But Crawford said it's likely council will vote to override Henry's veto before it decides whether to introduce the other four contracts. If the override gets the necessary six votes -- and all six council members have voted to end bargaining -- it would not be necessary to accept contracts that have been rendered moot, Crawford said, rejecting the notion that council caused Henry to delay submission of the contracts.

"We couldn't stop him from sending them to us even if we wanted to," he said.

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