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Margate freezes city workers, police officers salaries

The message was the same for Margate city workers represented by the Federation of Public Employees (FPE) and Margate police

FPE bargaining unit left to right: Shop Stewards Darrel Mauro, Erin Lyons, Michael Mack, Dennis Bross; Business Representative Jack Marziliano; Chief Negotiator Alan Eichenbaum

captains and lieutenants represented by the Broward County Police Benevolent Association:

“What you’re making today, you’re making tomorrow,” Margate City Manager, Frank Porcella, told union representatives in the first round of negotiations at City Hall Tuesday, essentially freezing wages for the second year in a row.

In a year when Margate faces what could be a $4.5 million budgetary shortfall, Porcella explained to the two bargaining units that the city has no money to fund annual step raises or salary increases.

Employees currently receiving longevity bonuses will continue to receive them, said Porcella, but new hires effective October 1, 2010 will be exempt from the benefit. Longevity bonuses are what FPE employees receive after ten or more years of service with the city.

Also on the chopping block for city employees was comp time, “which was a nice thing to have,” said Porcella, “but it got away.”

Comp time is a benefit city employees receive in lieu of overtime. It sometimes isn’t paid out until the city owes an employee thousands of dollars and is a practice that must end, said Porcella, or the city will go broke.

Porcella proposed a 40 hour cap on comp time for city employees, with a stipulation that comp time over 40 hours be used inside of four months. Those currently owed comp time over 40 hours would have until September 30, 2011 to bring their comp time down to 40 hours.

There was no discussion regarding layoffs, however, for the second year in a row the city is looking at contacting out Margate City Transit to a private company, which will force Margate’s full-time and part-time bus drivers to decide whether they will work for the new company or find work elsewhere. Porcella said outsourcing the city’s bus service could save taxpayers in excess of $200,000 a year.

To read the rest of this story, please click here to visit our news partner Margate News.

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Apr 23 2010. Filed under Broward County, Employment, Local news, margate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Margate freezes city workers, police officers salaries”

  1. Valigator

    Better than having no job at all…


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