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Buckley, employees still negotiating

The Courier-Herald

Employees of the city of Buckley, members of Local 286, recently rejected the city’s initial contract offer and have been working without a contract since Dec. 31.

Historically, negotiations between the city and its union employees have been harmonious and union members have worked in good faith without a revised contract on more than one occasion. So it isn’t as if alarms are going off due to the union’s refusal to accept the city’s initial offer.

“I have the greatest and hardest-working group of city workers in the world and I would give them the moon if I could,” Mayor Patricia Johnson said.

But the economy has put cities in a tough situation, Johnson added.

“Considering the rough economics times we are living in, I thought the contract offer was fair,” the mayor said, “but I haven’t had a chance to get back to the union’s bargaining people to see what the tipping point was for them. I am just trying to keep the city operational, while at the same time saving money and jobs.”

Reach John Leggett at jleggett@courierherald.com or 360-802-8207.

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