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Published: Friday, 5/8/2009

No layoffs in Findlay after police, firefighters agree to concessions

BLADE STAFF

FINDLAY City firefighters Thursday agreed to a long list of concessions to avoid the layoff of 11 firefighters, union officials said.

FINDLAY A tentative agreement that will save jobs in Findlay s police department was reached Friday between the city and its police union.

The agreement, which is to be voted on Saturday by the Findlay Police Employees Association, comes a day after city firefighters agreed to a long list of concessions to avoid the layoff of 11 firefighters.

Thirteen police officers also were to have been laid off.

Michelle Sullivan, an attorney for the police union, said talks had broken down Thursday when the city would not agree to guarantee that no police officers would be laid off in 2009 unless city income tax collections dropped by more than 10 percent.

Ms. Sullivan said talks resumed Friday, and the city tentatively agreed to guarantee no police layoffs would occur this year "unless there is a deficit in the general fund revenue greater than $1.5 million or if some catastrophic event like a flood occurred that would substantially decrease the general fund balance."

The union also agreed to a wage freeze for this year and to take eight unpaid days yet this year as other city employees are doing.

Meanwhile, members of Findlay Firefighters Local 381 agreed to wage cuts averaging 12.66 percent. They too will take 72 unpaid hours off yet this year and work holidays without extra pay, among other concessions.

"The firefighters in Findlay are proud of what they do and are overly concerned with the ramifications of cuts to safety," Matt Cooper, union president, said in a statement.



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