During the Aug. 23 City Council meeting representatives of Teamsters Local 14 were invited to publicly participate with the City in labor contract negotiations.  On Aug. 31, through their attorney, Adam Levine, the Teamsters declined the invitation stating that negotiations in a public forum would discourage candid discourse and encourage grandstanding and pandering.

The City extended this offer in good faith hoping that by holding public negotiations the current level of candid discourse would increase and the level of grandstanding and pandering would decrease; because the public would be able to see and judge for themselves whether or not the parties are acting reasonably and fairly with each other.

“I am disappointed that the Union did not accept the City’s offer to publicly negotiate.  I believe that it would provide a level of transparency and understanding heretofore unrealized in the negotiation process,” said the City’s chief negotiator Bob Sweetin.

Since the beginning of negotiations the City has made three official written offers and multiple counteroffers.  Each of the City’s offers provided for pay increases for City employees.  Unfortunately it appears that, based on comments made during that Aug. 23 City Council meeting, these offers were not given to nor voted on by the general membership.

Teamsters Local 14 is the labor union that represents city employees that are not part of a public safety collective bargaining group or part of management.

The next round of negotiations begin on Sep. 14 however, Teamsters is requesting that those meetings remain private.

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