SJ Firefighters Make Final Push for Jobs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    CONCOW, CA - JULY 09: Firefighters from Monterey, California pull a hose as they monitor a backfire July 9, 2008 in Concow, California. Firefighters are battling the Butte Lightning Fire Complex fires that have charred nearly 49,000 acres, burned 50 to 60 buildings, and have promted the evacuations of close to 10,000 people as the fire threatens the towns of Paradise and Concow, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    The 49 San Jose firefighters let go this weekend might have another shot at their old jobs.  Their union will meet with the city leaders today at 2 p.m. to talk about restoring those positions.  

    In return, the Local 230 Union has agreed to three concessions:

    • Job security: It is no longer demanding that the city guarantee no layoffs through June 30.
    • Benefits: New hires would receive a 10% cut in retirement benefits.
    • Overtime: Firefighters would go along with an alternate deployment plan. This would allow the department to cut back on overtime and save money.

    Union president Randy Sekany told us this morning that he believes these concessions will save enough money to hire back all of 49 laid-off firefighters.

    "This really boils down to public safety." Sekany said. "And the fact is we had a very thinly staffed fire department prior to August 1st. And we when we lost those five engines, we put the citizens in a very risky situation. It's very unsafe right now." 

    Sekany is encouraged city officials are sitting down with them because prior to this, the city had threatened to go into binding arbitration.

    "We have a chance. We won’t be able to strike a deal if they wouldn’t come back to the table." Sekany said. "We’re happy that they’re coming back to the table because we want to strike a deal."