Louisville Metro Government will pay back some two thousand city employees for furlough days taken in the last two years.
The city imposed the furloughs for all non-emergency employees to help close a budget shortfall. Many members of the Teamsters and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees took the furloughs, but union leaders contended they violated their contracts.
The mayor’s office says the unions agreed to the furloughs, but AFSCME President Greg Frazier says he only agreed to hold a vote on the cost-cutting measure.
“Agreeing to take it to the membership and agreeing to take the furlough days are two different things,” he says. “I don’t have the right as the president of the union to agree to something like that.”
The unions filed grievances after the furlough days. An arbitration firm ruled in favor of the unions, and the city has decided to pay about one million dollars to the union workers. Carlton says personnel funds for the current fiscal year will likely be cut to accommodate the payout.
“It’ll play out in less overtime, leaving positions vacant longer, not hiring replacements for people, hiring people at lower salaries when someone leaves,” he says.