San Jose Firefighters' Union Reaches Labor Agreement That Would Restore Previous Pay Cut - NBC Bay Area
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San Jose Firefighters' Union Reaches Labor Agreement That Would Restore Previous Pay Cut

Tentative agreement sets up discussions about staffing levels in the department

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    The San Jose firefighters’ union has reached a new three-year labor agreement with the city, union officials confirmed to NBC Bay Area on Monday. Robert Handa reports. (Published Monday, June 8, 2015)

    The San Jose firefighters’ union has reached a new three-year labor agreement with the city, union officials confirmed to NBC Bay Area on Monday.

    If ratified, the new contract will restore a 10-percent pay cut that firefighters agreed to in 2011 and guarantees “minimum staffing” of fire vehicles, union officials said.

    The new proposal follows a labor agreement that has caused considerable hard feelings between the firefighters and union. IAFF San Jose Firefighters Local 230 says firefighters have not gotten a raise since 2008 and took a 10-percent pay cut in 2011. Officials also point out budget cuts during the past five years have led to the layoff of almost 80 firefighters, station closures and the loss of fire trucks or engines that have impacted response times.

    The new contract provides 14.74 percent in ongoing raises, including a 5 percent raise retroactive to June 22 of last year. It also calls for an additional 3.18 percent in one-time lump payments.

    The tentative agreement also sets up discussions about staffing after a planned organizational review by the city which would help keep disputes out of the negotiation and arbitration process.

    Although the union’s executive board unanimously recommends approval, the rank-and-file will begin the ratification process in a series of meetings starting June 17.

    There are currently 679 firefighters but the city may be able to add as many as 14 more if the department gets a federal grant. The city had 744 firefighters on staff five years ago.

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