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Public Safety Unions Use Collective Bargaining to Negotiate Their Contracts

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, public safety contracts were up for debate as well as the union president position by way of collective bargaining. Councilman Mitch Harper pushed to adopt the new contracts.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, public safety contracts were up for debate as well as the union president position by way of collective bargaining. Councilman Mitch Harper pushed to adopt the new contracts.

Union President Jeremy Bush discussed the contracts for both the Fire and Police Departments, but before anything was voted on, Councilman John Crawford asked for changes.

He said, "I know he would like to get his contract done and that may affect the votes on the contract whether or not the compulsory union membership is in there."

Other council members wanted input from the Police Department before making any decisions but Councilman Tom Smith believed, "If this is good for the Fire Department then it's going to be good for the Police Department as well I don't know why it wouldn’t be."

Council members passed the resolution, putting them in effect for the next three years. Jeremy Bush said, while this is great for them, it’s not for other union members. Bush said, "Part of it is we’re happy. I’m happy for our members but I look at them and they just lost so how do they operate with the City of Fort Wayne so there’s concern for that."

Fire Chief Eric Lahey is thrilled about Tuesday’s results.

"I'm glad not only for the department but for the members of the department that the contract passed,” said Lahey.

Some thought the city council was trying to take away union members' benefits; Bush said this isn’t the case, "Before we get into this discussion on benefits and what not, we show up on a daily basis. We love what we do we love representing the city of Fort Wayne, We love showing up for the citizens."

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