That Union Thing

The city of Miami is facing a $100 million deficit for 2011, and has declared a state of financial urgency, forcing unions to renegotiate collective bargaining agreements.

The declaration is being protested by the firefighters union, which already agreed to five percent cuts last year. Part of the city financial problems stem from years of using pension money to balance the books. A 1985 settlement requires the city to make annual payments until the pension funds are made whole again.

The city of Hialeah has failed to reach agreements with unions representing police, firefighters, and municipal employees. Negotiations have been ongoing since April 2009. Both the firefighters' union and AFSCME have asked for a forensic audit of the city's finances.

The NFL Players Association has filed a complaint against the league. The players claim that advertising contracts with TV networks give the league unfair leverage because the league would receive advertising revenue even if there was a work stoppage. Union leaders and the players are anticipating a lockout in 2011.


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