NEGOTIATING KEY LABOR CONTRACTS
Mike served as the lead architect for negotiating some of the City's largest and most challenging union contracts. Of the ten remaining bargaining units (1199 was eliminated with the privatization of the Smith House), defined benefit plans have been replaced by defined contribution plans in six of the contracts. In the case of UAW, the City achieved pension multiplier reductions for active employees—virtually unheard of statewide. In the case of the Stamford Police Association contract, Mike settled the first negotiated full contract in over 12 years. Mike's success was tied directly to his willingness to listen to bargaining unit members. He worked to educate the police officers, often one-on-one in a patrol car, about the reasoning behind the City's financial pressures and the reality of the sluggish economy. Most notable in the settled police contract were wholesale changes to the unsustainable benefits blindly handed out by politicians for decades. Free retiree healthcare, expensive active employee point-of-service health plans, rich pension multipliers, and generous and often exploited work rules are a thing of the past. Most importantly, Mike accomplished these changes while still maintaining a respectful working relationship with the rank and file of the department. This has led to additional cooperative agreements, such as the implementation of body-worn cameras.
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