Posted by: Ken Riter | September 1, 2011

Day One is Done! Where is the Fire Union Contract?

Day One is Done!! Where is the Fire Union Contract?

Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle was the first mayor in 30 years to get any concessions from the police or fire union. But the Omaha City Council decided they could do better, saying the magic word, taxpayer, despite the fact that the Fire Union has already lef t the negotiating tabe.  What stench of MagicThink is this?  Day One of the City Council being in charge is over, where is the Fire Contract?

And how is it leadership for the City Council to take a responsibility away from a leader and then hand it off to a 3rd party? This is not leadership, its vengeance, with a vengeance. The Fire Union has had testy relationships with some councilmembers, including Stothert and Jerram, the latter which the Fire Union only dumped a few weeks ago over an amendment to the original contract which killed it in a City Council vote. The proposal to remove the Mayor from the negotiating table was lead by Jerram.

While no one spoke up at the City Council to oppose the special proposal for the City Council to take back its negotiating authority, opponents have been outspoken in the aftermath.

One of them, Rich Ketter, posted this on Chris Jerram’s facebook page,” Even though they are now Born Again Union Haters, three members of the new Omaha Super Negotiators should recuse themselves to avoid the same impropriety that they claim the Mayor was involved with. Something about good for the Goose, Good for the Gander. Chris Jerram received more of the labor-business group’s money than anyone else on the Council. Jerram picked up $31,100, including $15,000 from the Fire Union. Jean Stothert received $1,250 from the Fire Union and Police Union.
Pete Festersen picked up $2,500 from the Fire Union”

Accusations over how Union campaign money influences the votes run high against the Mayor, but I think taxpayers will be hurt even more because the negotiator is no longer directly elected by the people.  Its assumed the Council may higher an outside negotiator, but once again, how is it leadership for the City Council to take a responsibility away from a leader and then hand it off to a 3rd party?

So what is this new City Council called?  The Jerram-Stothert-Mulligan-Thompson-Festersen Anti-Union Axis?
Why doesn’t the City Council just hire another group to act as City Council?

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