Back on August 19, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle & Fire Union President Steve Leclair announced an agreement in principle on a new 5-year fire contract. The public was told a vote on a contract could be underway within a month.
When Channel 6 News asked the mayor’s office about it Tuesday (one month and three days later), we were told final negotiations are no closer than they were at the time of the news conference.
Since that time, the city council has passed a budget for the 2010 budget year. However, the budget relies on the tentative agreement which calls for the fire union to receive no pay increase for 2009 and 2010.
All of this is happening while the city is still trying to determine how it will cut several million dollars more in cuts for the remainder of the 2009 budget year.
Once the city and fire union reach an agreement, both sides will have to get the contract approved. That could take several weeks.
As for the police contract, union president Aaron Hanson tells Channel 6 News that both sides are narrowing what’s important to them. He is optimistic they will find a resolution before the end of the year.