The Belleville News-Democrat is reporting that the union representing East St. Louis police has rejected a deal that would have trimmed salaries to save 16 jobs.
It's the latest salvo in an ongoing battle over the police department in the cash-strapped city, which says the layoffs or salary reductions are necessary to save jobs. Mayor Alvin Parks says the city is in a $2.2 million hole.
Last July, the city laid off 19 officers, in addition to 11 firefighters, four public works employees, and three administrators. About a week later, the union agreed to a 20 percent wage reduction. (A similar sequence of events played out over two days last March.)
This time, though, the union said no. The layoffs leave just 46 officers to patrol the city. Plus, the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, which provides backup for calls in East St. Louis, will lay off 13 deputies on January 15th.