Mayor Henry calls for collaborative study commission on collective bargaining

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News release from the City of Fort Wayne:

Statement from Mayor Tom Henry
Mayor calls for collaborative study commission on collective bargaining

(May 23, 2014) – At a time when the City of Fort Wayne is experiencing unprecedented positive momentum by the public and private sectors working together, our community has been pulled into an unnecessary, divisive issue that threatens the collective bargaining rights of our award-winning City employees.

From the beginning, I’ve been concerned by the rushed approach and nature of the three collective bargaining ordinances that have been presented. However, I’ve listened closely to my team, City Council members, and our citizens debate over collective bargaining. I’ve heard City Council members of both parties say they need to study the situation and some of them admit they aren’t that clear about collective bargaining and its impact. And, I know the full facts and information are not yet before this community to make a decision of this magnitude.

I recognize that we must keep pushing harder for even higher performance, for even more productivity, to innovate more and find more efficiencies and savings. But, we must do this as we’ve been doing it – together.

The only way we could effectively, fairly and astutely address the impact of the recent recession and the state government dramatically cutting our revenues was through our bipartisan and collaborative efforts such as the Fiscal Policy Group, where we put party and ideology aside and focused on the only thing that’s important – winning the future.

I invite City Council and the public and private sectors to join me to study the collective bargaining issues in the same collaborative and cooperative fashion that has worked so well and from which, today, there is no reason to deviate. We know that we work best and we achieve the best results when we work together. When you have the winning formula, you stick with it.

The unifying point in this complex discussion has been a call for more information and an objective assessment of the facts. That kind of thoughtful, steady analysis, which has guided my administration, has been missing on this issue. Our charge should be objectivity and a commitment to enhance the positive momentum we’ve built in our community.

Now is not the time to risk the progress we’re making in our award-winning City. Let’s win the future by working together.

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