By MAX FILBY
Findlay officials are negotiating new contracts with police and firefighter unions.
Current three-year contracts expire at the end of this year.
Firefighter negotiations may wrap up before the end of the year, Mayor Lydia Mihalik said. Police negotiations began recently.
Safety-Service Director Paul Schmelzer and Law Director Don Rasmussen are negotiating on the administration’s behalf. They are not authorized to discuss negotiations publicly until a deal is reached, Schmelzer has said.
“I’m proud of the work Paul and Don do to work with the unions on this,” Mihalik said.
By the end of the year, City Council will likely approve an ordinance giving Mihalik the authority to execute a new contract with firefighters. Council went into closed executive session during its Nov. 17 meeting to discuss negotiations.
Once police contract negotiations are close to being completed, talks with the city’s sewer union workers will begin, Mihalik said.
Completed contracts tend to influence ones still being negotiated, because of the necessity for health insurance coverage to be uniform, Rasmussen said in 2013.
If contract negotiations aren’t completed by year’s end, current contracts will carry over until a new one is agreed upon, Mihalik said. Safety forces in Ohio are not permitted to strike.
Under the current three-year contracts, union employees weren’t eligible to receive raises until this year, when they all received a 2 percent pay hike.