Written by By DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 10:20
PERRYSBURG Given the tough times Perrysburg City Council would like its firefighters to accept less money.
The firefighters, however, disagree.
The two sides must now select an arbitrator whose decision will be final.
Tuesday night City Council voted unanimously to reject a fact finders report that would have given the union a 3.25-percent raise in 2009, a 3 -percent raise in 2010 and open up salary talks in 2011.
Maria Ermie, who chairs the councils personnel committee, said it was the first time anyone can remember that the city has rejected a fact finders report.
That is the same contract that the police union received earlier this year.
But Ermie said the two situations are different. A comparison of police pay with other suburban districts showed they were below middle range while the firefighters pay is at the middle range and above.
The raises contained in the fact finders report were out of touch with the kind of pay increases taxpayers were getting, she said.
It would be negligent to agree to the raises, she said. Our goal is to continue to provide city services without laying off employees.
Tom Granata, president of International Association of Firefighters Local 3331, said in response to the council vote: At this time we are deeply saddened by the rejection of the fact finder report.
He said the councils reasoning was in disarray, but would not elaborate.
Well just keep doing our job and take it to the next level, Granata said.
Finding an arbitrator could take a couple weeks, Ermie said.
In other action:
The council approved a resolution calling for its representative to the TARTA board to vote against a change in funding for the transit system from a 2.5-mill property tax to a 0.5-percent sales tax. Council also agreed to hire a consultant to look at other ways of providing public transportation in the city.
The council approved the annexation from Perrysburg Township of 46.5 acres of land at the northeast corner of Ohio 25 and Five Point Road with the American Title Agency as trustee; two properties, one just over two acres and another under one acre owned by Claudette and Marty Davis on Ohio 25; and property owned by Lawrence Shiple on Fort Meigs Road.