The agreement is expected to save the city about $72 million over nine years, with about 140 positions eliminated through attrition. Meanwhile, firefighters will get a 16.5 percent pay raise and be required to work an average of 47.5 hours each week rather than 42.
“We’re excited for a new change,” said John Burke, secretary-treasurer of the union that represents city firefighters. “In my 22-year career, this is the largest increase in salary that I’ve had. I feel personally that it was a good deal.”
The mayor’s office had been locked in negotiations with the Fire Department unions for months, and in March, the firefighters rejected a proposal that would have required them to work 49 hours per week in exchange for a 12.5 percent raise.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was pleased with the compromise.