Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | 10:38 p.m.
The Henderson City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a deal with the Teamsters Union that will save the city more than $2 million and help close a burdensome budget gap.
The deal, which will be finalized next week, includes the union members forgoing their annual base pay raises. It also eliminates an extra payday for Teamsters when a holiday occurs during the workweek until 2014. It’s the fourth straight year that the city workers have deferred raises to help the government meet its budget.
City Council members and Mayor Andy Hafen also voted unanimously to forgo their own pay raises next year. Fred Horvath, the city's human resources director, said their willingness to decline pay raises is important for negotiations.
“It’s absolutely everything,” Horvath said. “It would be difficult to sit there and bargain concessions with our union if our mayor and city council were not willing to also participate.”
Before everything could be finalized, City Councilman Sam Bateman expressed concern for 2014 when the unions renegotiate contracts. Horvath said there is a plan in place to assess the market and labor costs to sidestep financial issues.
Mayor Hafen commended both the union and Horvath for being able to come to terms without a major hassle.
“We just don’t have the controversy that we see elsewhere in Nevada,” Hafen said in the meeting. “I think the council is supportive, the staff is supportive and this is how the system is supposed to work.”
Horvath said Henderson has come to terms with both the Henderson Firefighters Association and Police Supervisors Association to cut 2 percent of their budgets. Both deals will be brought in front of the council on July 3.
Horvath said he plans to meet with the Police Officers Association on Thursday for negotiations, and he is confident an agreement will be met.