The budget showdown between the city of North Las Vegas and the unions has reached a climax.
Now the city says they will simply pass the concessions they want without the unions consent, setting the stage for a legal battle.
By law the city must submit a balanced budget to the state by June 1, closing a $33 million deficit.
So now, a bold move is coming Friday by the city council.
They will basically circumvent the collective bargaining agreement.
They say the move will allow public safety to stay status quo.
"Other states and communities across this country, from the east coast to Stockton, CA, have successfully used this approach where they go in and basically suspend elements of a collective bargaining agreement," said North Las Vegas City Manager Tim Hacker. "All we are doing is suspending those elements that would result in raises or otherwise increase costs and benefits."
While the city says they are using N.R.S. 288 as a safety valve, the firefighters union says they are misinterpreting it and breaking the law, adding the city never negotiated in good faith knowing they would use the statute.
"The state statute was not written for this," said firefighter's union president Jeff Hurley. "This was written for earthquakes or major disasters. So unfortunately now we have to go and have a third person resolve this issue and that's not ever successful. So it's disheartening to know this was the strategy for months before this ever started that they wanted to go this route."
Hacker says the citizens of North Las Vegas are struggling, citing high unemployment foreclosure rates.
He says raising taxes to solve the problem is not the right thing to do right now and the solution has to come from the city itself.
"We hope our fire and police and all of our employees really get back to focusing on public service and the community that we serve," Hacker said. "We need to be reflective of them and they don't serve us."
The unions say the city is essentially flying blind in finding solutions.
"Well, you're guess is as good as mine," Hurley said. "Because they're making this up as the go."
Friday night's meeting is scheduled for 5:00 at the new city hall.
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