Collective Bargaining: Should Fort Wayne End the Process?

Published 05/14 2014 10:47PM

Updated 05/15 2014 08:16AM

 Three ordinances were successfully introduced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.  The ordinances would potentially remove collective bargaining for city unions.

 City Councilmen Russ Jehl, R-2nd, and Dr. John Crawford, R-At-Large, authored the three ordinances.   Crawford says the process of negotiating contracts for city unions costs thousands in attorney fees and often times the terms of the contracts include arbitrary items that most working people aren’t entitled too.

 “Some of these strange benefits like birthday pay and perfect attendance, and strange grievances, inflexible work rules.   All of those things come from collective bargaining. 

Crawford points to other U.S cities that have repealed collective bargaining for unions---saying that he’d like to see Fort Wayne follow in their footsteps. 

“Do you really want to wait until you are in bad shape to reform a system.  It won't be any easier,” said Crawford. 

“I think what this boils down to is an ideal that's going across the country and a belief that unions are bad and unions are not-productive and fat and lazy,” said Jeremy Bush, President Fort Wayne Professional Fire Firefighters.   

Bush also questions why the Councilmen are trying to push these ordinances through in just a few weeks. 

“Councilman Crawford has had years to prepare for this and they are allowing us a two week period  to gather all of our information and present it,” said Bush. 

“Whether we do this in 3-4 weeks, 3-4 months or 3-4 years it will be equally contentious,” said Crawford.

Mayor Tom Henry came out last week supporting the unions and their desire to maintain collective bargaining.  

“Why now? I'm just wondering what their motivation behind it is.  We need to determine why council members are doing what they are doing,” said Henry.  

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