Cincinnati offers unions last chance to save jobs - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Cincinnati offers unions last chance to save jobs

by Steven Ackermann - email

Following a full meeting of the Cincinnati City Council,  City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. says unions representing city works affected by the proposed layoffs now have two options:  Their membership can vote to approve a number of cost-saving measures OR the union leaders can sign a document promising to have a full membership vote within seven days.  Under either option, the layoffs scheduled to begin on Monday will be delayed.

Representatives of the CODE union say they will sign the waiver tonight, but the leadership of the Fraternal Order of Police left the meeting saying they must consult with their membership according to FOX19 reporter Brad Underwood who has been at City Hall all afternoon.

A  majority of the Cincinnati City Council and the Mayor have presented city employee unions with a plan to avoid massive layoffs  scheduled to happen on Sunday.  Under the proposal, the unions have until midnight Saturday to accept a broad range of cost-saving measures.  If the unions agree, the Mayor says this plan would avoid any layoffs.

The newest proposal came at a meeting of the Council Finance Committee.  A meeting of the full City Council was scheduled to begin at 4:00 PM, but the Finance Meeting ended just after 4:00 PM.  FOX19's Brad Underwood is talking with union representatives while waiting for the full Council meeting to begin.

Earlier today, A Hamilton County judge denied a request from Cincinnati unions to stop city wide layoffs.

The proposal came at the second of three special meetings held on Friday. 

Hanging in the balance are the jobs of 138 police officers and 31 other city employees. The FOP and CODE unions claim the city has more money then it says and took their fight to court.

However, on Friday morning, Judge Ralph Winkler denied to grant a temporary restraining order to block the layoffs, clearing the way for layoffs to begin.

"Based upon the law of Ohio and the record before it, the Court cannot conclude that the Unions have proven by clear and convincing evidence that there is a substantial likelihood of success of the merits of the case," he wrote in his opinion.

"No one is celebrating at City Hall," said City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. in a statement.  "Layoffs are still at play, and we are down to the last minute."

Four members of council unveiled a plan on Wednesday that would cut funding from a number of other city programs.  

Republicans Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel called one meeting Friday morning. They are part of the minority council members. They tried to get the majority members and the mayor to unveil their plan, but they refused to do so.

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