MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County leaders and the Police Benevolent Association have reached a tentative agreement on cuts totaling $56 million.
“We want to bring this to an end, good, bad, or ugly,” said PBA President John Rivera.
The tentative deal will have to be voted on by the rank and file, but even with the cuts, it’s not enough.
The county has been asking for $73 million in concessions from the police to fill a budget hole.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has threatened that if enough cuts aren’t made, he will being laying off Miami-Dade police officers.
Gimenez said he needs that money, roughly $18 million, to close the budget gap in the police department.
Rivera said it’s time for the county mayor to make a few concessions as well.
“We’ve given every last drop of blood,” Rivera said. “We’ve given more than any other union – twice or three times as much. Enough is enough. Let’s get on with life, lets protect the community.”
Police have agreed to paying for their take-home police cars and cut overtime and holiday pay.
The big issue remaining to be negotiated is how much Miami-Dade County police officers will pay for their health insurance.
Currently, police pay five percent of their salary to their health insurance. Mayor Gimenez wants them to pay 10 percent.
Since no deal on the health insurance aspect was reached, the Miami-Dade County Commission will have to decide in January a final total.
Rivera believes that he will have an easier time with the Commission because Gimenez is up for re-election and won’t budge. But Deputy Mayor Chip Iglesias isn’t so sure.
“In fact, there are probably seven commissioners who are up for re-election, so from that stand point, it evens the playing field,” Iglesias said. “It is going to be a difficult process nonetheless and we will have to wait for that day.”
Rivera said that a vote on the deal from the police union is scheduled for early December.
If police reject the agreement, layoff notices will go out to more than just the 90 officers said to be at risk of losing their jobs.