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Without union concessions, County layoffs are inevitable

admin | 11/8/2011, 4:07 a.m.

There have been a few good decisions made by Miamis political leaders over the last few days. The first was by County Mayor Carlos Gimenez who chose to hold off on firing police officers. The second good move was Miami commissioners taking control of the severance payout process while slashing potential windfalls by as much as 75 percent. Now comes the hard part. For Gimenez, who has taken a stance as a no-nonsense, budget-cutting administrator, he will need to soften his tactics and work with those union officials who represent the most of the departments officers. As for John Rivera, who heads the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, he will need to say to his members what many do not want to hear either accept sizable reductions in pay and benefits or face sweeping layoffs. These are tough economic times and while the job that police officers perform each day is a dangerous one, they are public citizens too. The dollars simply are not there to make good on promises made in more lucrative times. As for the City Commissioners, we wonder what took them so long to put a halt on the ridiculously-large payouts that former, high-level city employees have been receiving. The new law that reduces current severance payouts and puts them on a graduated basis makes good economic sense. In order to survive this recession, we may all have to make concessions and be content with bringing home a bit less.