In an unexpected slam at the Jackson Health System, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez criticized the public hospital Friday for agreeing to give its employees a generous bonus, as he once again vetoed county commissioners’ move to restore union workers’ pay.
The mayor’s harsh words toward Jackson could make it more difficult, or at least more uncomfortable politically, to resolve ongoing contract disputes with seven labor unions. Both employees and commissioners have said they would like all unions to be treated the same.
Despite his veto, Gimenez indicated that he’s willing to compromise with commissioners, who had voted to no longer require most employees to contribute 5 percent of their base pay toward group healthcare costs. The contribution, in place for four years, had been scheduled to expire Jan. 1.
The veto paves the way for Jackson unions, the Public Health Trust and commissioners to approve tentative agreements Jackson reached this week with its two unions, which are among the seven at impasse with the county over the healthcare contribution.
The agreements would phase out the contribution, with 3 percent going away now and the remaining 2 percent on Sept. 30. That’s the potential compromise Gimenez said he and Jackson Chief Executive Carlos Migoya discussed last week before the commission vote.
What they did not talk about, according to Gimenez, was something else Migoya agreed to: giving eligible Jackson workers a one-time, 3 percent bonus.