Last-Minute Deal Prevents Sac Fire Fighter Layoffs

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It would avoid increased response times and allow the city to keep a full team of four fire fighters on each engine.  And it will save at least 50 fire fighters who would have lost their jobs Friday.
Spokesman Chris Harvey admits his union didn’t get everything it wanted.  But he predicts rank-and-file fire fighters will approve it anyway.
Harvey: “We feel pretty confident that our membership is gonna vote this through and we’re gonna be able to prevent these planned layoffs that were gonna take place right before the Fourth of July weekend.” 
Under the deal, fire fighters will give up their cost-of-living raises for two and a half years.  In exchange, the city promises not to lay off any fire fighters for at least a year.  The agreement comes after days of bitter words following last week’s breakdown in negotiations.
The city council approved the contract Wednesday in closed session.  It next goes to the union’s membership for a vote.
Meanwhile, at least 100 city workers who don’t work in public safety will lose their jobs Friday.  Their union, Stationary Engineers Local 39, has not met with the city in more than two weeks.