ROCKVILLE, Md. -- A painfully tight budget in Montgomery County is pitting the county executive against county employee unions. County Executive Isiah Leggett, faced with a $ 300 million budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year, submitted a budget proposal to the county council that will cut union workers' take-home pay and require them to shoulder a bigger share of their health insurance and pension costs. Employee health care contributions would rise from 20 percent to 30 percent. Employees would also be asked to contribute two percent more toward their own retirement.
"We need to have not just quick fixes, but we need to have long-term, sustainable kinds of reductions in our budget," Leggett told 630 WMAL News. "And this is why having changes in the pension, changes in healthcare, will help us go a long way in doing that as well as elimination of many jobs and positions."
Leggett's budget ignores the legally-binding ruling of an arbitrator, who ruled in favor of the unions. Under county law, the council has that power but the executive does not.
Municipal and County Government Employees Organization (MCGEO) President Gino Renne said the union plans to file an unfair labor practice charge against Leggett this week. SOURCE: WMAL