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October 24, 2014

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North Las Vegas OKs union concessions; Police Supervisors holding out

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Steve Marcus

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee gives the North Las Vegas State of the City Address at Aliante Casino in North Las Vegas, Jan. 16, 2014.

The North Las Vegas City Council approved concessions deals today with three of its four employee unions meant to stave off a financial crisis.

The approvals drew a standing ovation from the city hall audience, but the mood at the council meeting was soured by the holdout of the Police Supervisors Association.

“There were four or five people from that association at that meeting, and we all walked out of there and I thought we were done,” Mayor John Lee said. “The mayor is done.”

Although Police Supervisors Association representatives agreed to a tentative deal with the city last month, it has not been approved by members.

The city brokered deals with its four unions in a marathon negotiating session last month that drew the involvement of Gov. Brian Sandoval. The city had turned to the unions for help closing an $18 million budget deficit it faces in the fiscal year starting July 1.

Without concessions, city officials said, they would be forced to lay off employees and cut services or risk a state takeover of its finances.

The council finalized the deals with its firefighters, police officers and Teamsters unions in a unanimous vote Wednesday night. Members of each of those associations have also voted to accept the concessions.

The agreements include a pennies on the dollar settlement for a lawsuit filed by public safety unions alleging the city illegally withheld pay raises during a 2012 financial emergency. A district court judge sided with the unions in January.

The city owed as much as $25 million to unions for the lost wages, but settled for a total of $7.7 million.

In addition to the settlements, the unions will give up a combined $10.4 million in concessions.

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