Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis said he was in the mood to do some scolding Wednesday morning about what he called money-grubbing demands of the city's public safety unions.

DePaulis said he is a supporter of labor and is sympathetic to their problems, but criticized the unions "threatening, bullying, hostage-taking" stance.This year is the first time in his four-year stint as mayor that his budget proposal includes both cost-of-living and merit pay increases.

All three of the city's employee unions broke off negotiations in the past week because of dissatisfaction with salary offers.

DePaulis promised to clear his schedule this week to consult his budget nitpickers in an effort to come up with a package the police and fire unions would accept. "I'm going to go back one more time."

DePaulis said if his last-ditch offer doesn't work, he's going to take the matter to the court of public opinion.

He also criticized the City Council for commenting on the bargaining process before it was completed.