Police union, City Hall prepare for arbitration on budget cuts

November 18, 2009

The police union and City Hall are preparing for arbitration after attempts to reach an agreement to trim $5.1 million from the police budget failed. "Despite our best efforts, we have not been able to reach a consensus," said Scott Peterson, a spokesman for Mayor Sheila Dixon. The Fraternal Order of Police submitted a final offer this week, which city officials say does not meet the targeted cuts. But union President Robert Cherry disagreed, saying, "We've given them a number of offers that would not only meet the $5.1 million goal but exceed it." Both parties are planning to select a mediation board and begin a fact-finding process. The city must make $60 million in midyear cuts from its $2.3 billion budget because of state cuts and lower-than-anticipated tax revenue. The Fraternal Order of Police is the only city union with a contract that prohibits furlough days.

- Julie Scharper

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