Miami-Dade County faces a $50 million-plus budget shortfall under current projections, Mayor Carlos Gimenez warned commissioners this week after informing employee unions that the county will ask for a continuation of significant benefit concessions.
Gimenez’s administration is requesting that, for another year, workers continue to contribute 5 percent of their base pay toward the cost of health insurance, among other concessions particular to each union.
Extending the contribution requires the county to return to the bargaining table with most of its bargaining units. The mayor had said he would try to eliminate the contribution this year, and the contracts, negotiated for a three-year period, provide for reopening certain agreement provisions if the contribution is to continue past Jan. 1, 2014.
“I have directed staff to being scheduling negotiation sessions with all of [the] unions in order to come to a consensus on the terms of the agreements as soon as possible since, as per the existing contract language, there is a time window of time allotted for negotiations,” Gimenez wrote commissioners Wednesday.