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City Council OKs Deal With Lakewood Unions

There are still three union contracts that have yet to be finalized.

Last month, officials at Lakewood City Hall reached deals with four of the seven collective bargaining units in Lakewood.

And on Monday night, Lakewood City Council approved the one-year contract extensions.

There are still three union contracts that have yet to be finalized: Police, fire and corrections officers (there’s only one member of that union). 

Council president Brian Powers said he was a little concerned about “kicking the can down the road,” but added that he understands that the financial forecast for the city is still a little cloudy.

“I think this is the right thing for the year,” he said. “We’ll punt for a year, and then we’ll go for it.”

The collective bargaining agreements expired at the end of 2012.

The unions involved in the extensions are the two local chapters of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Fraternal Order of Police dispatchers’ union.

The negotiations began in October. The extension, which would keep wages and health care contributions frozen at the 2012 level, gives the city time to decrease costs and increase revenue.

Mayor Michael Summers said recently that the city is facing significant cuts at the state level. It’s hard to give raises with less, he said. 

There are some 450 employees in the city of Lakewood, and 390 of them belong to a union. All seven contracts for Lakewood’s seven unions expired at the end of 2012.

Kevin Butler, the city’s law director, said that he couldn’t comment on the remaining three negotiations, but said that the city is seeking additional one-year contract extensions.

“It’s appropriate for us in light of the uncertainty from the state, from our revenue projections,” Butler said, adding that it’s difficult to delve into “full-fledged” union negotiations without knowing the fuller financial picture for the city.

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