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Union concessions could help keep NLV rec centers open

NLV Council votes to close recreation centers

KSNV coverage of the North Las Vegas Council vote to close city recreation centers, Aug. 17, 2011.

It looks like North Las Vegas recreation centers may stay open another year.

A tentative agreement signed by the city and the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association on Wednesday will save $2 million, allowing Neighborhood and Silver Mesa recreation centers to remain open and saving 21 jobs, according to acting City Manager Maryann Ustick.

Pending ratification by both sides, the police union agrees to suspend accumulated holiday pay that was scheduled to be paid out in February, and maintain the 150-hour cap for holiday payout in the next fiscal year. The union will also suspend the 1.125 percent cost-of-living increase for six months starting Jan. 1.

In return, the city guarantees no layoffs until July. The city also agreed to accept the union’s grievance regarding layoffs, thereby resolving it. The sides also agreed that police union members who leave the city through June will be included in calculations to lessen the financial obligation of the police department, which should reduce the need for layoffs down the road.

The agreement will not only provide $1.5 million needed to operate and staff the two recreation centers but will save three jobs in the city manager’s office and two in the city attorney’s office. The deal saves the jobs the City Council voted to eliminate Aug. 17 to balance a $4.4 million budget gap.

The concessions will last the city until the end of the current fiscal year, but Ustick says the city will face the same problem when the agreement with the fire union ends in January and Teamsters furloughs end in June.

“There is no question that we will be back at the table in discussions with the IAFF, Teamsters and POA,” Ustick said. “Based on our projections, it looks to me like we will have to be negotiating with all three bargaining units.”

The City Council will vote on the item at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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