Segarra Meets With Unions, Talks About Concessions
meeting comes as mayor gives chief of staff $20,000 raise
By Jeff Cohen
April 05, 2012
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra met today with city unions to ask them to do their part to close next year's ten percent budget hole. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, this comes at the same time as he's giving raises to his staff.
Last week, WNPR reported that Segarra gave his chief of staff a $20,000 raise. He also gave other raises in his office -- including one to himself.
Now, Segarra is meeting with some city unions to ask them to help out as he tries to fix next year's budget. David Panagore is the city's chief operating officer. He says the city wants to hear suggestions from the unions, too.
"We had conversations with the unions about potential ways in which we could meet our budget numbers...In the past, we've done furloughs, we've also, in the past, there have been layoffs. There have been vacant position eliminations."
The city says two unions were not at the meeting -- police and AFSCME, which represents 600 workers in various city departments. Clarke King is the AFSCME local president and he says his union is opposed to concessions. He also says the mayor's recent raises to his staff send a message.
"Usually you show by example. And it shows me that the city has money somewhere if they're giving raises out like that."