Cuts, pink slips loom with Fort Worth budget proposal

Fort Worth budget

Credit: WFAA-TV

Fort Worth municipal workers are waiting to see what anticipated budget cuts will mean for job security.

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 7 at 9:43 PM

FORT WORTH — More city workers are stepping forward, concerned about a budget being unveiled next week which is expected to ask for reductions in nearly every department.

Pete Talleos, who represents about 150 workers through the Local 9527 of the United Steelworkers Union, said it has been an uneasy few weeks.

"City employees are looking over their shoulder wondering is it going to be me next," he said.

The proposed budget, which will be unveiled by the city manager on Tuesday afternoon, will ask for cuts to make up for a projected multi-million dollar shortfall. The figure is likely to be between $35 million and $40 million, according to sources.

Mayor Betsy Price points out the shortfall is actually less than what was originally thought, and she believes some of the difference can be made up through eliminating vacant positions.

"I really think that will help," she said. "It is going to be a lean budget."

The Fort Worth Police Officer's Association has been waging a public war of sorts with the mayor and City Council, even posting a sock puppet video online a couple of months ago that talked about "$20 million " in cuts to police alone.

The association told News 8 recently it now thinks that figure could be more like $10 million.

Whatever the final numbers shake out to be, other unions are equally convinced that just reducing vacant positions might not be enough to fill the gap.

"We're not expecting anything good to come out of this budget," Talleos said.

Once the budget is presented to the Council, there will be about a month before of back-and-forth before any final vote is taken in September.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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