The proposed wage increase is the result of a fact-finder’s report that was recently issued after more than a year of negotiation and mediation failed to produce a new contract for 2010. The report suggested the city council either give the firefighters union a half percent raise or promise to keep at least 118 firefighters on duty at all times.
City Manager Robert Layton said a cost of living raise wouldn’t be fair to other employees.
“We don’t think it’s consistent with any of the agreements that we’ve reached with other unions or the compensation we’ve been providing other employees,” he said this morning. “No other employees received a cost of living increase for 2010. We also have contracts in place for 2011 that have no cost of living increases as well.”
But Layton said it’s possible the city and union can negotiate an agreement before Tuesday morning’s meeting. We are “not there yet, but we still have 24 hours to talk through some issues,” he said.