Union leaders meet again with city officials

By Sara Gouedy - bio | email
and Regina Russo - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Union leaders met again with city officials on Friday to discuss the city's announced layoffs.

The two sides discussed a number of items, including take home cars and cell phone usage, but no agreement was reached as far as layoffs. The groups plan to meet again next week.

They also met Thursday afternoon, before a tense crowd showed up at the Duke Energy Center Thursday night to voice their concerns to city leaders about the layoffs during a special city council meeting.

The meeting lasted about two hours and got ugly at times, with a lot of yelling and a little bit of laughing at some of the responses. However, it appears the city is sticking to its plan to eliminate more than 319 positions, including 138 police officers.

The city is dealing with a $28 million budget deficit. These cuts will mark the most significant wave of layoffs in more than two decades.

Union leaders say they will continue to push the mayor and the finance director to tap into the estimated $13 million in unappropriated funds.

"I flat out asked finance director if money is restricted and he told me it's as if a big pot of money is in the room and can be used for anything," said CODE union leader Diana Frey.

According to the finance director, the city doesn't want to touch the unappropriated surpluses in case financial conditions get worse, but it doesn't mean they can't.

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