labor

Labor Contracts at Center of Overtime Review

by Gabe Bullard on January 24, 2012

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says city labor unions will have to accept changes to their contracts if the city is to cut overtime expenses.

According to a study the mayor commissioned in December, the city spends about $23 million a year on overtime, and $14 million is unplanned.

Fischer hopes to cut $1.3 million from that total soon, and triple that cut in coming years. Some overtime expenses are due to understaffing and employees doing more with less. And all overtime is approved by supervisors.

“I am not faulting any of our employees on these overtime issues,” says Fischer. “Nobody has done anything outside of our policies or that hasn’t been allowed or approved by management. You all are simply doing the work that needs to be done at the direction of your managers.”

Among the recommendations in the overtime study is a call for supervisors to better document and justify overtime. But, Fischer says union contracts count vacations and sick days as time worked, and that may need to change to save money. In addition to the report, Fischer released a list of city employees who earn more than 15 percent of their salaries in overtime.

Metro Councilman David James—who was once head of the city police union—doesn’t think the mayor is unfairly targeting labor, but the concessions will have to go both ways.

“The city has in those contracts things they want in there. The organizations have things in there that they want in there,” James says. “I think the city in its contract negotiations should seek to do the things it really wants and the unions should seek to do the things they really want and they’ll have a happy medium.”

James says some overtime in the police department is paid with federal grants, and he’ll have to look deeper at the study before weighing in on it. Anissa Brady, head of the local AFSCME union, says she’s also reviewing the study. She told WFPL she did not take issue with the names of high overtime earners being released because the information is already public.

Louisville is facing a $12 million shortfall over the next six months and a $20-$30 million shortfall in the next fiscal year. James says cutting overtime costs can save money, but it won’t be enough to balance the budget.

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City Overtime Report Released

by Gabe Bullard January 24, 2012

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has released a review of city employee overtime expenses. It includes several recommendations for cutting overtime costs and names dozens of employees who earn more than 15 percent of their income through overtime. The report finds that the city spends about $23 million on overtime each year. The majority of that […]

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Orchestra Musicians Reject Another Contract Offer

by Gabe Bullard November 16, 2011

The musicians of the Louisville Orchestra have rejected the latest contract offer from management. The impasse peaked late last month, when the players declined an offer to sign all the musicians who remained in Louisville but cut the orchestra to 55 members by June 2013. They differed on how many players should be hired up […]

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Talks Continue in Orchestra Dispute

by Gabe Bullard November 7, 2011

A week after the Louisville Orchestra management threatened to replace musicians who had not agreed to a final contract offer, talks have resumed. Mediator Henri Mangeot says a new offer has been extended to the musicians. The players are considering it and another meeting is set for tomorrow evening. Mangeot declined to give details of […]

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Orchestra Management Prepared to Begin Search for New Musicians, Players Plan Holiday Concerts

by Gabe Bullard October 31, 2011

Today is the deadline for Louisville Orchestra musicians to return to work. The orchestra board says it will begin replacing the players if they do not sign on by the end of the day. This comes after a year of talks for a new contract broke down.

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After Hope for New Contract, Orchestra Plans to Hire Replacement Players

by Gabe Bullard October 24, 2011

The process of replacing the Louisville Orchestra musicians has begun. Orchestra management declared their intention to hire new players Monday, after yet another failed round of talks with the musicians. The two sides were close. On Friday, orchestra management said the musicians had agreed to sign all the players who haven’t left town for other […]

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UPDATE: Orchestra Musicians Say Contract Talks Continue, Opera Placed on Unfair List

by Gabe Bullard October 22, 2011

The musicians of the Louisville Orchestra say they have not entirely agreed to a new contract proposal from orchestra management. The latest offer from the management called for any players who remained in Louisville to be signed to a contract that would begin in January. However, the number of musicians would have to shrink to […]

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Orchestra Says Musicians Have Accepted Contract Offer

by Gabe Bullard October 21, 2011

The Louisville Orchestra labor dispute is over, according to orchestra management. The management had extended what it called a “final offer” to the musicians. The orchestra board agreed to sign any musicians who remain in Louisville to a contract for upcoming seasons. However, by June 2013, enough players would have to retire or leave the […]

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AFM President Discusses Kentucky Opera Talks

by Gabe Bullard October 12, 2011

The Kentucky Opera could be bound for the American Federation of Musicians’ ‘unfair list’ if it seeks outside players for performances next month. With the orchestra labor dispute still going, the opera has no easy source for musicians. Opera management struck a deal last month with orchestra players to accompany Carmen, but that deal cost […]

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Opera, Musicians at Impasse Over Next Performances

by Gabe Bullard October 11, 2011

The dispute between the Louisville Orchestra musicians and management has spilled over to the Kentucky Opera. The orchestra provides musicians for the opera, but without an orchestra contract, the opera has no easy means of securing players. Opera management and musicians reached an agreement for last month’s performances of Carmen, but talks for upcoming shows […]

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