City police still curious about layoff timetable

CINCINNATI - Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Kathy Harrell said Thursday that some Cincinnati police officers and several hundred city workers are currently in dark about layoffs.

Harrell met with the city's human resource officer to find out more information about the proposal to lay off 344 municipal employees, including 149 police officers, because of a budget shortfall.

"I said when are we going to expect these pink slips? And her response was, 'Well, because you don't have it in your contract, that we have to give you notice, with the other contracts, we do, we'll try to give you advance notice but we can't guarantee that," Harrell said.

That position is reinforced by a memo from the City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr.'s office on April 26 that lays out a timeline for closing the budget and the laying off employees.

The memo reads that layoff notices "may be as late as the week of June 3." June 9 is the planned separation date for affected employees.

Harrell, who calls the situation a "slap in the face," said that doesn't give the city workers much time to prepare.

9 On Your Side reached out to Meg Olberding of the city manager's office but she was unavailable for an interview.

City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld acknowledges that communication with officials at Cincinnati City Hall isn't the best.

"We absolutely need to give our police officers and everybody else notice about what's going on," he said.

Herrell agrees with the statement. She says union leaders responded to an invitation from the city's human resources department to discuss the timeline for the layoffs.

Councilman Sittenfeld said he will introduce a motion to council requiring the city to give notice before laying off any employees.

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