Fort Wayne City Council Republicans, Democrats at odds about Collective Bargaining Agreements

Back in 2014, city council voted 6-3 along party lines to get rid of CBA’s for non-public safety employees of the city and after the five Republican members of council voted to not introduce the ordinance put forth by the four Democratic members, that still stands.

Posted: Nov 10, 2020 10:51 PM
Updated: Nov 11, 2020 9:09 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - About two dozen city employees stood outside of Citizen Square, encouraging Fort Wayne city councilmembers to introduce an ordinance that would bring back collective bargaining agreements for non-public safety city employees.

Back in 2014, city council voted 6-3 along party lines to get rid of CBA’s for non-public safety employees of the city and after the five Republican members of council voted to not introduce the ordinance put forth by the four Democratic members, that still stands.

Democratic councilman At-Large Glynn Hines was one of four current members on council back in 2014. Back then, he voted to keep the CBA in place. He says if Republicans are for some city employees having CBS's, they should be for everyone.

"If you’re for public safety for having collective bargaining, then the civil servant, non-public safety employees should be entitled to public collective bargaining as well, Hines said. "I think anything short of that is, as I said back years ago, is bulls**t."

2nd district Republican councilman Russ Jehl voted no back in 2014 to get rid of unions for those employees and voted again tonight to keep things the way they are.

He believes those city employees should accept what’s in place.

Jehl explained "It is an honor to serve the public, and the public is best served not with collective bargaining and that’s why I take that stance and why I think our employees should respect what is best for the public and respect the system that is in place."

For the Democratic members of council, tonight was less about the CBA not happening than it was not even getting the chance to introduce the ordinance. Democratic ouncilwoman Sharon Tucker of the 6th district summarized her side’s thoughts.

"Your party wouldn’t even allow discussion to take place and you’ll want to discuss something in the future with us, you will, you will, and we’ll listen because that’s what good people do, they listen and talk," Tucker said.

Jehl says that there are instances where costs were saved due to eliminating those CBA’s where as Hines says they haven’t materialized, and Jehl says while there was talks of helping these same employees during the pandemic in the summer, that’s no reason to upend things.

"The pandemic is an exceptional time and that is why you don’t make structural long term changes such as bringing back collective bargaining, just because of a pandemic," Jehl explained.

So now what this means is that the only city employees who will be able to have unions are public safety, which all councilmembers who spoke with FOX 55 on Tuesday night agreed should be allowed, but this issue can of course be brought up again at a later date.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
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Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
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Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
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Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
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Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
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Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
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Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
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Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
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