Trickle down effect of North Las Vegas budget battle
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV)- In just a few hours, the North Las Vegas budget battle comes to a head. The tension between the unions and the city is growing, and the only solution so far is one the unions are calling illegal. Video by ktnv.comvideo
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- In just a few hours, the North Las Vegas budget battle will come to a head. The tension between the unions and the city is growing and the only solution so far is one the unions are calling illegal.
The city council is expected to vote on a resolution that would cancel some parts of police and fire unions' contracts but another group is watching anxiously, fearing the trickle down effect they say will surely come.
"We basically have a financial tsunami and we need to address it," says North Las Vegas city manager Tim Hacker.
The city is just hours away from voting on a resolution it says would allow them to close a budget deficit of $33 million.
"They want me to guarantee 140 plus jobs. I can't do that," says Hacker.
That resolution would cancel parts of police officers and supervisors and fire unions contracts that allow for cost of living raises and other benefits.
"It is our hope with the concessions or with this resolution if it's approved, that we'll keep staffing levels where they're at," says Hacker.
On Thursday the city and fire union left a meeting frustrated at not having reached an agreement that would save more than two hundred emergency services jobs. The resolution is again the city's final reach.
"That there is an attack on the middle class and an attack on the unions, and we will not tolerate that," says Cpt. Jeff Hurley with the North Las Vegas Firefighters Union.
Also looking closely at this budget battle is the Teamsters union. More than sixty members are already looking at layoffs. Members also voted Thursday against making concessions similar to the ones proposed in the resolution.
"We wanted to keep our people employed. This is a tough time and the economy isn't getting any better," says Steve Harney with the Teamsters Local No. 14.
The teamsters say whatever the City of North Las Vegas decides to do on June 1st will indirectly affect their members, for example those who work here at the city jail.
"In the detention center we have over 43 teamster positions. They're teamster members, however they're paid by the police budget," says Harney.
No matter how the vote goes Friday there will be repercussions in which no one, including the citizens, can escape.
City leaders have already said they will vote for the resolution they say can happen because the City of North Las Vegas is in a fiscal emergency. The unions say that's against state law since this is not a natural disaster. If passed, union leaders say their next move will be in court.