By Kathleen Berger
East St. Louis, Ill (KSDK) -- The City of East St. Louis reports that significant progress has been made negotiating with East St. Louis Fraternal Order of Police.
East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Junior says the city met with the police union on Tuesday, and is optimistic an agreement will be accepted by the union. Mayor Parks says both the union and the city is willing to make concessions.
Parks says all sworn police officers, union as well as non-union, plus one other non-union position, would take a temporary salary decrease for 2011. If the union agrees to this, then all 16 police officers laid off on January 1st would be reinstated.
Mayor Parks says bringing back all 16 officers is what everybody wants, including the East St. Louis community, the police officers, city employees, and city council. Parks says they want to have as many officers as possible, available to serve the community.
The East St. Louis Fraternal Order of Police will meet on Thursday to vote on the proposal. Mayor Parks says the city is optimistic the union will vote in favor of this agreement.
If that happens, Parks says the city council would come back to have a council meeting to approve another city budget. The hope is also to reinstate other laid off city employees including four public works positions, two telecommunication positions, one jailer.
Parks says this is pending negotiations with their unions. But the hope is to bring them back as well to prevent the budget cuts from crippling those departments.