Questions remain for police, fire cuts after city HR meeting - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Waiting game continues for possible police, fire cuts

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Police and firefighters across Cincinnati are still waiting to hear if they'll have a job come July.

The City Administration says layoffs are unavoidable to close the City's $35 million budget deficit.

Union leaders were hoping to have more answers Wednesday on what the cuts will look like following a meeting with the City's human resources department. 

"It was a waste of time, pathetic," Cincinnati police union president Kathy Harrell said of the meeting.

Harrell says she understood it often takes more time to identify the specific positions that will be cut, but she was frustrated the City's human resources department did not have dates to give on when to expect pinkslips. She was also frustrated they were given a three day span of when layoffs might happen in early June and not an exact date.

"Our members don't have any answers and it's very frustrating, very frustrating," Harrell said.  "The minimum that you should have within two weeks is a layoff date and when employees can expect to get that pink slip."

Union leaders say June 7th through the 9th were the only dates referenced as possible layoff dates.

"This is being held out to the very last minute and I think it's unfair and when we wait this long there's no reactionary time," Matt Alter, Cincinnati firefighter union representative, told FOX19.

Alter argues it is more than his men and women who need a heads-up on the looming layoffs.

"This isn't just a letdown for the firefighters and the employees of the city of Cincinnati, it's a let down to the citizens of the city," he argued. "The citizens need to know when they can expect to see impact on their service."

Leaders say they were sent to the City Mangers office for more layoff details but were told the manager was not in Wednesday.

Instead Harrell reached out Assistant City Manager Scott Stiles before the city council meeting. Stiles met with union leaders and promised more answers in a timely fashion.

"Scott was nice enough to talk to all the union leaders and he was very upset at the way things were handled," Harrell said.

"We've always had a great relationship with the union leadership and it's just a matter of working with them to make sure they have all the information that they need to share with their members," Stiles explained.

Alter says the City's human resources director called him directly Wednesday afternoon promising more specific responses within the week. 

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