Still No Deal Between City And Fire Union


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Still No Deal Between City And Fire Union

By Joshua Egbert. CREATED Nov 8, 2013

Omaha, NE- The deadline came and went, with movement, but no deal between Mayor Jean Stothert and the fire union. There now appears to be time to save jobs.

First, the mayor's office sent out a release explaining the terms it had accepted. Then, the union said there is no deal yet.

Negotiations between the city and fire union have been going on for months. The latest deal prevents layoffs and protection from layoffs. One of the only proposals the two sides agree on.

Some of the 19 fire fighters who stand to lose their jobs were joined by fellow fire fighters Friday morning, as union president Steve LeCair announced he remains committeed to avoiding the layoffs.

"It is our goal to insure that our fire fighters are protected from further layoffs now and in the future." said LeClair.

It's also the goal of Mayor Jean Stothert, who offered a new solution Friday mornign.

"All they have to do is agree to reduce the number in the (paramedic) training program which i think is unnecessary training and so does the chief." says Mayor Stothert.

Reduction of the paramedic class is something the fire union agrees with.

"This will keep fire fighters on the streets serving the community instead of in classrooms." says LeClair.

But agreeing to the cuts does come with stipulations from the union. They want layoff protection to 47 fire fighters hired this year, the same protection as the rest of the department under a labor contract that went into effect in January.

They want the protection for the life of the contract, something the mayor says she won't budge on.

"I will not say that everyone right now has indefinite layoff protection no other city employee has it and i'm not going to agree with it for fire." says Mayor Stothert.

There is no deadline on this latest deal, but Mayor Stothert says layoffs will occur January 4th if a deal isn't reached. A deal the fire union hopes to work out.

"We are committed to reaching a long term solution that will best protect the citizens of omaha." says LeClair.

LeClair says the union board will take time to look over this latest deal. That would take a few days, but hopes to have some kind of resolution, soon.