Mayor explains why he would veto collective bargaining ordinances

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Mayor Tom Henry spoke in depth about the three ordinances proposed in the collective bargaining debate.

Last Tuesday, City Council agreed to look at repealing collective bargaining for the nearly 1,300 city employees who are represented by unions.

However, that won’t happen if Mayor Henry has anything to do with it.

City council voted 6-2 in favor of looking at repealing collective bargaining to city workers.

“To make taxpayers toil more just to provide benefits that the taxpayers don’t receive is another side of the question that needs to be asked,” said Councilman Russ Jehl.

Monday, NewsChannel 15 sat down with Mayor Henry to hear his position on each of the three ordinances up for debate.

The first is eliminating collective bargaining for all non-public safety employees.

Mayor Henry said that’s the most drastic.

“I don’t think that one’s going to pass, but obviously if it did, I would veto that,” said Mayor Henry.

The second is consolidating six non-public safety unions to two bargaining agents.

“When you say you’re going to narrow it down to one or two, which ones? That should be their decision, not ours.”

The last ordinance is eliminating collective bargaining for police and firefighters too.

Mayor Henry said it’s not a level playing field.

‘I don’t think it’s right to cut it off for some and not everybody and so for that reason, I would veto that one as well.”

NewsChannel 15 asked Mayor Henry why he thought city council is bringing up the issue now.

“I personally feel that it’s somewhat politically motivated.”

He said that for two reasons.

“What better way to show off a republican dominated city council than them going to the Republican Convention saying we were able to take away the collective bargaining rights of 1,300 city employees.”

Also, the municipal election is in about a year and a half.

“One of the city council members has already declared that he’s going to run for mayor. I’m sure that there are those who feel that by putting the administration in an awkward position, it’ll strengthen their side of the ticket.”

The earliest a decision could come is May 27.

If the mayor vetoes the ordinances, the council has to have six votes to override his veto.

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