City Pressuring Fire Union to Help Solve Budget Crisis
CPR file/Ben Adler
Sacramento officials are turning up the heat on the union that represents the city’s fire fighters.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
They want the union to agree to delay their cost-of-living increases to prevent more service cuts in the fire department – including layoffs.
Mayor Kevin Johnson and other officials pointed to the city’s police union. It just approved similar concessions to save Sacramento more than $6 million – and nearly 70 jobs. Johnson says the fire union faces a similar choice.
Johnson: “Fire can say, hey, we want to be a part of the solution; we’re willing to make labor concessions; we’re willing to do our part with some deferred compensation. Or if they do not do that, then all of our commitment is, then they need to cut their budget accordingly.”
That would almost certainly mean layoffs, and an increase in fire department response times.
In a statement, the union says it continues to negotiate, but wants to work out two items of unfinished business with the city first – before reopening its contract.