City Council and the Firefighters Union have hammered out the final details of a deal that would save the city about $30 million over the next two years, while protecting firefighters from a repeat of last year’s layoffs. In order to make last year’s budget, the city was forced to lay off 49 firefighters.
The proposal states that municipal firefighters will take a 10 percent cut in both wages and benefits, a new, two-tiered pension plan that distinguishes between veteran firefighters and new recruits, and four firefighters per engine instead of five. With an agreement in place, the proposal is expected to pass a vote by members of the union. If they don’t like it, they can go to Palo Alto, where firefighters’ collective salaries went up 9 percent between 2009 and 2010.