Battle Rages Over North Las Vegas Cuts | News
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The battle to fill a $33 million budget shortfall in North Las Vegas has turned into a war of words. Police and fire unions say they have offered to make concessions in good faith, yet they feel the city is depicting them as the bad guy.
If all sides don't reach an agreement by June 1, pink slips could begin to go out. From police and fire, to support staff, more than 200 jobs are at stake.
City leaders authorized City Manager Tim Hacker to initiate the layoffs with a unanimous vote Tuesday night. They say for months the city has asked unions to stop raises for two years and benefit increases, but claim representatives of the agencies have refused.
Hacker says North Las Vegas averages the highest salaries in the nation and that $8 out of every $10 the city spends are on wages. North Las Vegas firefighters say Hacker is not being truthful to the public. They claim they have bargained in good faith and agreed to eight rounds of concessions worth $20 million over the last four years.
"They go out in public and say that the firefighters are self-serving and they're only after their raises, when that's the furthest thing from the truth," said Jeff Hurley with the North Las Vegas Firefighters Union.
Hurley says City Manager Hacker even sent them a letter this morning, thanking them for their hard work and dedication. They claim, it proves he is telling the public one thing and the unions the other.
Among the proposed cuts are 100 positions with North Las Vegas Police. The North Las Vegas Police Officer's Association did not want to comment for this story, but have said publicly the budget cuts do not account for 100 police positions that are already vacant.
While 100 positions will be eliminated, that does not mean all those will be officers off the street. They also include animal control, dispatch and corrections jobs.
The unions and the city have just two weeks to make additional agreements to save those jobs.