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City Prepares for Round of Union Bargaining Agreements

With plenty of uncertainty, the administration is preparing for negations with all seven of the city’s unions.

There are 450 employees in the city of Lakewood, and 390 of them belong to a union.

All seven contracts for Lakewood’s seven unions are set to expire at the end of this year. 

The city’s administration is getting ready for negotiations at the bargaining table, expected to begin this fall.

“In order to prepare for that — and do it thoughtfully — it takes serious consideration,” said Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers. “And we labor with an enormous uncertainty with , we not sure of our tax valuations, but we’re reasonably sure of what the state’s cuts are.”

Lakewood city officials began when Kasich signed the which slashed the city’s local government fund to the tune of $2.8 million over the next two years.

Summers said that city workers — including , , EMS and — have a good idea of the city’s financial restraints.

“This is not a pleasant environment to be approaching these discussions,” he said.

To say that there are unknowns is an understatement.    

“We’re uncertain of what our retirements are,” Summers said. “This is a forecast, and the thing about a forecast is that it’s often wrong. We just don’t how wrong and which direction it’s going to be wrong.

“Our challenge is to get a good bead on that by this fall.”

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