Tulsa Mayor And Police Union Contract Talks Continue
By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
Both sides started talking Wednesday morning. There were 11 people for the FOP and five representing the city. They broke before lunch and talked separately then came back for more talks in the afternoon.
With the clock ticking towards Friday, when laid off police officers get their final paychecks, there's a new round of negotiations over how to hire some of them back.
"I'd say a majority of them, and it's really up to them," said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.
Mayor Bartlett says the administration and police union are in productive, but tedious talks.
"What we're trying to do is look at what our good firefighters agreed to and get our members of the FOP to agree to something like that; that would work well with the police department," Bartlett said.
Bartlett described the terms only as similar to the earlier deal the FOP rejected. If a new deal was made, the union would vote again.
Until now, the city council has been on the sidelines, but three city councilors - Bill Christiansen, Maria Barnes and Chris Trail - sat in on some of the new talks at the invitation of the FOP.
The mayor says he believes an agreement will come, possibly within the week.
"We're obviously very hopeful that that's going to happen. As far as the timing, I don't know," Bartlett said.
While the talks on the immediate issues continue - the city is officially negotiating on next year's contract too - but that's a long slow process by design that usually goes into June.