Sunday, March 1, 2009 | Mayor Jerry Sanders is demanding city employees provide ALL the money necessary to close the city’s $54 million budget deficit through salary and benefit reductions. The “take backs” and reductions Sanders is demanding from employees targets represented employees of the five city employee unions

City employees would like to know what Sanders is giving back to set the example. Are the mayor, City Council, the city attorney and management giving up retirement medical insurance? How many furlough days are the mayor and management going to take without pay? When is the mayor going to start driving himself to and from work in his personal vehicle and not the city-owned Lincoln, driven by a police officer? Has Sanders reduced his, the city council, the city attorney and management’s health insurance benefits as well as eliminating the supplemental “management” payment ($2,500 annually) each receives? How much of a reduction are they going to take to their salaries? When will the mayor eliminate DROP for management employees? Since the mayor does not believe DROP is a protected benefit, why does management still have the ability to participate in it?

The mayor only targets “represented” employee pay and benefits. One of the mayor’s “take backs” is a 2.8 percent employee retirement contribution the city “asked” to pay, in lieu of raises. The city over the years sought ways to compensate employees and save money. The city’s agreement to pay this 2.8 percent employee payment saved it money. This “take back” long term will cost the city more than the savings the mayor will realize today.

The mayor seeks concessions from represented city employees. Is the mayor, who is also a “city employee,” going to set the example and include himself, the City Council, the city attorney and management in the demand for reductions or is he simply going to make an example for others to follow?

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