|By David Ovalle, The Miami Herald|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The three-year contract will save the county
"I'm ecstatic," said officer
The turnout was considered high: About 3,500 members voted, more than half of the union's nearly 6,000 members that include employees from police, corrections and animal services department. Ninety percent of the voters approved the deal, according to the
That means the
"This is a clear example of our unity," PBA President
But for officers, the pain isn't over either.
The county is still seeking an additional
"We still have one more hurdle to go,"
Gimenez had called for
Now, eight of 10 unions have reached tentative or finalized deals, Gimenez said. The remaining two: unions representing the county's water and sewer department, and transit employees.
Monday's crucial vote came one month after the union and county administrators struck a tentative deal after months of tense negotiations.
Negotiations had stalled by October, when Gimenez threatened to lay off 90 officers if a new deal was not reached by
For police, thousands of PBA members flocked to cast their ballots Monday at three polling sites.
The vote was emotional. Many officers felt the firefighters union got a "sweetheart" deal that avoided deep cuts.
"We're tying to minimize the impact," she said of how the budget woes could have affected the police department. "It's very hard, especially for all of us who risk our lives. People forget we die in the line of duty, that we get shot at."
He will be particularly affected because he works the midnight shift and frequently appears in court in the morning. The contract slashes incentive pay for officers who work nights, as well as overtime for court appearances.
"I couldn't in good conscience vote to take over
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