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Published: Tuesday, 7/28/2009

Toledo council approves contract with firefighters

BLADE STAFF

Toledo City Council approved a new three-year contract Tuesday with the union representing firefighters.

Council voted 10-1 to approve the agreement. Councilman Tom Waniewski cast the lone no vote. Councilman Frank Szollosi was not present.

Members of Toledo Firefighters Local 92 ratified the contract with the city last week.

In addition to givebacks on pension benefits and a two-tier system for future recruits, the contract freezes wages through 2009 and 2010, but grants a 3.5 percent pay increase beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

The pay freeze and eventual increase are identical to salary terms in the city's recently approved contract with the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association.

The firefighters' new three-year contract was expected to save the city $1.82 million through 2009 and $3.74 million in 2010, as long as 40 new firefighters are hired that year to reduce overtime.

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner Tuesday said it would be impossible to balance the city's budget without fee and tax increases.

The firefighters contract also require firefighters to pay 7 percent toward their own pension program for six months. The city would resume making the entire 10 percent employee share of the pension payment, which is on top of the employer's contribution of 19.5 percent. Any newly hired firefighters will pay the full 10 percent of the employee's pension share - which is also included in the TPPA contract.



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