When the tentative five-year agreement -- which must be approved by union members and the
Besides reducing current insurance expenses, he said it would cut down on the city's long-term post-retirement obligations.
"The returns on the health insurance are really big," Dana said. "It's going to be a substantial long-term savings for the city."
On the union side of that equation, the tentative agreement calls for annual pay increases that will start on
Those raises will come after the union agreed to give up the 8 percent pay boost the city implemented in 2015 as part of the switch from three platoons to four. If the tentative agreement is ratified it is scheduled to take effect
Though the minimum manning reduction is projected to reduce costs, Dana said the city will have to wait until a few months into next year before it starts seeing those savings. Four shifts of 88 firefighters requires 352 firefighters; but the city currently only has about 325, meaning overtime would be inevitable if the city is to cover that 27 firefighter shortfall. Things will change when a new fire academy class of about 88 firefighters graduates and joins the department, Dana said, something expected to happen in the late spring or early summer of 2017.
Dana said in the meantime the tentative agreement sets up a compensatory time system for firefighters who work extra time, allowing them to accumulate a maximum of 72 hours of comp time for working a callback shift.
In the past, callback costs to maintain the 94 firefighters per shift level have been significant, ranging between
Both sides will continue mediated talks with retired state Supreme Court
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