The third time proved to be the charm for the Miami-Dade County Commission to restore workers’ pay.
On Tuesday, commissioners voted 9-4 to override a veto by Mayor Carlos Gimenez. As a result, the commission’s earlier decision to end an unpopular pay concession for county and Jackson Health System workers will stand.
Most employees have been contributing 5 percent of their base pay toward group healthcare costs for the past four years. That contribution will now go away, retroactive to Jan. 1.
The stunning turn of events handed a stinging defeat to Gimenez, who had twice vetoed the commission’s 8-5 vote to eliminate the healthcare contribution. His administration seemed on the verge of a compromise Tuesday.
But before the commission could even consider a deal, it had to vote on the veto itself. That’s when Commissioner Juan C. Zapata switched sides, giving the majority the deciding vote it needed to override the mayor.
There were loud gasps on the County Hall commission chambers. Gimenez stared at Zapata. Elated union members and leaders shook hands and congratulated each other. The commission had overturned the veto.