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Possible agreement between city, firefighters

Two firefighters would be reinstated

 

The Ironton City Council finance committee is prepared to recommend a proposal to the full council Thursday that will bring back two laid-off firefighters and still make the necessary budget cuts.

Council chairman Mike Lutz, who is also on the finance committee, said the proposal calls for the firefighters union to take a 20 percent cut in its food budget, a 25 percent reduction in the uniform allowance and for firefighters to begin paying approximately 3 percent toward their retirement pickup.

International Association of Firefighters Local 532 President Aaron Collins, who was one of the employees laid off, said the cuts amount to approximately $20 a month in the department’s food allowance and $100 per quarter in the uniform allowance for the next three years.

“We’re trying to do it so no one feels a big pinch and we still keep services,” Collins said.

“The key is we’re hitting that 7-and-a-half percent cut in benefits,” Lutz said. “It’s actually about $42,000 more of a cut than what we had asked for.”

Lutz said the city has agreed to leave parity in the firefighters contract — meaning if the police department gets a raise the firefighters will automatically get one too.

The proposal got a unanimous vote from the three members of the finance committee, Lutz, Aaron Bollinger and Kevin Waldo.

“It was a good meeting,” Lutz said. “We’ve gotten a couple of employees back to work. I did not want to see anyone lose their job.”

Collins said Monday’s finance committee recommendation put the two sides “one step closer” to a resolution of the disagreement between city and union.