MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The first round of pink slips for Miami-Dade county employees will be going out Friday after Mayor Carlos Gimenez vetoed four votes by the commission against having law enforcement and other employees pay more toward their healthcare.
Meanwhile, county commissioners held a special meeting Thursday to discuss several union contracts. Miami-Dade commissioners approved a contracts for water and sewer and sanitation contracts previously approved, which included pay cuts for those employees, CBS4’s Gary Nelson reported.
But the 500 pound gorilla in the room remained to be Gimenez’s veto.
The mayor had threatened the veto last week saying the concessions were needed to balance the 2011-2012 budget.
“We cannot go into a deficit,” said Gimenez.
Gimenez said the pink slips have to go out on Friday because of the 21 day notification requirement. Nearly 300 law enforcement and corrections officers along with about 250 county employees could face termination, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
Gimenez said even if the concessions are approved there will still be layoffs because of the delaying in getting them approved.
“We have to balance the budget at the end of the year and we will balance the budget at the end of the year,” Gimenez told Nelson Thursday.
The controversial concession would require law enforcement and county employees to contribute an additional 5 five percent of the pay toward their healthcare bring their total contribution to 10 percent.
Commissioners and union leaders criticized the mayor for focusing too heavily on employee concessions instead of finding savings elsewhere in the $4.4 billion operating budget.
The commission and Gimenez will tackle the issue once again when they meet on January 24th. If two-thirds of the commission, nine of the 13 commissioners, overrides the mayor’s vetoes, Gimenez would then have to finalize the layoffs. If the Gimenez’s vetoes stand, then the commission would either have to accept the additional five percent healthcare concession or find comparable savings elsewhere in the budget.
The issue of whether the mayor’s veto will be overwritten will be decided on January 24 at a commission meeting, Nelson reported.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.