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Oakland fire union agrees to contract in face of budget crisis

IAFF 55 logo1OAKLAND — The union representing Oakland firefighters voted 335-64 in favor of a new contract that will freeze wages and increase the hours firefighters work as the city faces an ongoing financial crisis, the union’s president said this week. The city relied heavily on concessions from city workers to try to balance its budget this year, and the firefighters became the second major city union this week to agree to a new contract. Chuck Garcia, president of Local 55 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which represents Oakland firefighters, said the union agreed to the deal to save jobs and protect services. “I think it’s important that the citizens know that Local 55 took a leadership position to save the city $6.4 million so the city could have a balanced budget,” he said.
Under the terms of the contract, firefighters will work 56 hours a week rather than 52 with no additional pay, will have cost-of-living adjustments frozen through June 2011, will continue paying 13 percent of their retirement pensions, and possibly will have a less expensive health plan. The contract will run through June 2012.8 Engine Continue reading Oakland fire union agrees to contract in face of budget crisis