The union also suggested the implementation of a new prescription drug plan that has realized savings elsewhere, she said.
Johnson, however, was adamant that the CSEA was the one who turned down the offer, thus bringing negotiations to an impasse.
"They physically got up and walked out. That was their decision, their movement," he said.
The city uses the services of Harris Beach in all its union contract negotiations at a rate of $250 per hour. In addition to the DPW workers contract, the Police Benevolent Association contract and contract for CSEA City Hall workers are open.
"Obvious fiscal realities facing the city and its taxpayers have changed the dynamics of reasonable negotiations. No longer can taxpayers shoulder the burden of generous multi-year pay raises. The union's demands remain unrealistic to the city's financial plight," a Harris Beach statement released Thursday read.
Douglas Gerhardt, an attorney with the law firm, declined further comment when contacted.
The negotiation of the DPW contract will now enter the fact- finding phase, in which an independent party will be assigned to the negotiations by the state Public Employment Relations Board who will hear arguments from both sides and the prepare a statement of findings. There's no word on how long that process will take, or when it will begin.
There are about 95 CSEA members working in the DPW, and about 100 others in City Hall.""