Friday, January 29, 2010

We think we have it bad

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 3:20 PM

From the misery loves company file, we note the budget cuts in Colorado Springs have been brutal, but check out what's happening in Tulsa, Okla., where 124 police officers are getting the axe after their union voted to whack jobs instead of taking a pay cut. Another 59 civilian city workers are packing it in as well.

In that northeastern Oklahoma city, where I covered City Hall for the Tulsa Tribune until it closed in 1992, Mayor Dewey Bartlett offered to save all the police jobs in exchange for a 5-percent pay cut, eight furlough days and benefits changes. Similar deals were offered to the firefighters, who stand to see 147, and civilian city workers who had 59 on the layoff list.

The police and civilian worker unions, though, said, "Nope." So those officers with the least seniority turned in their badges this week, while the 59 civilians also took a hike. Firefighters will vote this weekend on whether to accept the mayor's deal.

Here, no uniformed officers or firefighters were shown the door. Rather, positions were eliminated, which required moving people to other jobs, city spokesman John Leavitt says. However, several dozen civilian workers have lost their jobs here as the city has pared millions from its budget due to declining sales taxes caused by the recession.

Read the Tulsa World's story here.

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