The proposal called for a continued pay freeze and an increase in health insurance co-shares as the city tries to find $6 million in savings.
Union leaders said they heard nothing about the proposal or a deal to take back layoffs until word of the letter got out.
“This was a blind side. This was a chess move to cloud the other issues,” said union Vice President Clarence Gough.
“It may have been a move to get the situation that happened with the colonel’s situation at his house off the front page, slide it over and deflect it onto us,” union President Taft Manzotti said, referring to a graduation party at Chief Dean Esserman’s house where teenagers were found to be drinking.
The union’s counter-proposal includes an early retirement plan that the union claims would save about $4 million a year.