2013 Omaha mayoral election: Candidates on city labor contracts
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 @ 9:45AM
March 6, 2013
Today: Should the mayor take the lead in negotiating city labor contracts? If so, what would your approach be?
The mayor must be primarily responsible for collective bargaining with city unions.
As a former judge on the Commission of Industrial Relations and a labor attorney, I understand fully the collective bargaining process. I will keep the council fully informed of the collective bargaining process and solicit input on the issues.
The mayor should be in charge of negotiations as long as he has not received funding or support from the public employee labor unions.
I have studied labor contracts from across the country. I will be well-prepared to launch into new negotiations to make sure that labor contracts are fair for both the employees and the taxpayers.
I helped lead a bipartisan council effort to strip negotiating authority from the mayor. The City Council negotiated the fire union contract with positive results.
As mayor, given my background in labor issues and contracts for over 14 years, I would request the council re-establish negotiating authority with the city’s chief executive.
Negotiations are an administrative function and should be done through the mayor.
My approach would be as it has always been, to sit at the bargaining table and negotiate from a position of trust, strength and fairness.
When my administration negotiated the police contract, we achieved the most significant givebacks from any city employee union in decades.
Mayors are elected to serve as the chief executive of our community, a role that includes a responsibility to negotiate fair contracts.
By taking contract negotiating authority away from the Mayor’s Office, the divisiveness at City Hall has hit an unprecedented high.
As mayor, I will bring the parties to the negotiating table as an honest broker.
The candidates’ full answers, of 100 words or fewer, will appear on omaha.com/mayorguide.