Lima Council rejects labor agreement

By Jennifer Peryam -

LIMA — Lima City Council Friday approved an ordinance to reject a tentative labor agreement between the city and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1002.

The vote was 8 to 0 and was made during a special meeting Friday night at council chambers.

Approximately 40 Local 1002 members showed up for the meeting, but were asked to stand outside city hall due to rules limiting the number of people allowed to be in the same room due to the coronavirus outbreak. Union representatives were allowed to be in the room.

Anthony Geiger, law director, was appointed to serve as acting clerk and read the ordinance.

The council then went into executive session for an hour to discuss collective bargaining matters.

Derry Glenn, councilman, gave comments before the vote.

“This is the toughest vote I have had to make in a long time, and we have respect for our city,” Glenn said.

Lima Mayor David Berger said the administration brought a labor agreement forward a month ago for the city council to review, but there have been a number of circumstances that have changed, Berger said.

“We believe that some of those changes will continue to occur as the COVID-19 virus crisis continues,” Berger said. He said due to those changes the city has reassessed whether the contract is one they could support and it decided it could not. The administration recommended to the council that they reject the contract.

“We will go back to the bargaining table and again talk with the union and ultimately develop a workable agreement for all parties,” Berger said. He said the administration looks to find an agreement that will protect employees and the community as well as continue to find a level of service that the community needs.

By Jennifer Peryam

Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.

Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.

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