September 2, 2014

Elyria
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WHAT HAPPENED? Union’s letter to city officials

Dear Council Member:

As the City faces many General fund challenges in the coming months, the unavoidable issue of layoffs is upon us.

The AFSCME Officers feel that Council should be aware of a few of the following concerns that we have, as it appears that our employees will be the ones laid off.

The Auditor’s office has given us some employment numbers that we feel are relevant.  AFSCME currently has one hundred and ninety (190) full time union employees throughout the City.  Of that one hundred and ninety (190), only 42 of them are in the General fund.  Seventy eight percent, of our AFSCME employees are in Enterprise accounts.  Our AFSCME employees are some of the lowest wage earners in the City.

Currently, the Mayor has expressed to AFSCME that after all of the part time employees have been let go, his intentions are to layoff twenty (20), and possibly up to fifty (50), of our one hundred and ninety (190) employees.  At current, no other plan of employee layoffs from non-bargaining, and other bargaining units across the city has been laid out to us. We are unsure if such a plan exists or has ever been considered.  We feel that this is unfair and makes absolutely no sense.

According to the Auditor’s office, those twenty (20) full time AFSCME employees only make up approximately 1.5 million dollars, inclusive of wages, benefits, and longevity. That 1.5 million is approximately five percent, (5%) of the total General fund budget.

The question that we have for you is:  Why are we being targeted when we make up a very small percentage of the General fund expenditures?  For our employees to only take the hit is unfair and makes no sense.  Our people cannot add up to the savings that the City needs to make.  We believe that the City is attempting to balance their budget on the backs of AFSCME employees. 

We do not believe that the City has explored all options prior to making this drastic decision.  Layoffs of any employee should always be the last resort. 

We have attached the 2008 Year End Gross Wage report that indicates the overtime pay of all employees of the City of Elyria.

We thank you, in advance, of any questions that you may ask the Mayor regarding this process. 

Again we thank you and we are all available if there are any questions.

Sincerely,
AFSCME Local 277
Rick Rogala, President
Corliss Helm, Vice-President
Gina Rothgery, Recording Secretary
Timothy Gallagher, Treasurer