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Local 27 Press Release- Wage Concessions
Submitted by tanya on Tue, 08/10/2010 - 12:29pm
(Seattle, WA) – Seattle Fire Fighters agreed to wage concessions in their contract in order to help the City maintain fire and emergency medical services for the citizens of Seattle.
These concessions will save the City of Seattle approximately $6.6 million dollars. This money can be used to maintain current fire department response times, staffing and equipment.
In the last round of contract negotiations, Seattle Fire Fighters proposed and agreed to forego the minimum 2% cost of living increase for the entire 3 year contract to help the City of Seattle during the current economic downturn. Seattle Fire Fighters did this voluntarily to reduce costs and protect essential, life-saving services for the public. This structural cut will save the City millions of dollars, enabling the current level of fire protection and emergency medical services to be maintained. "Seattle Fire Fighters are totally committed to protecting the citizens of Seattle," said Kenny Stuart, President of Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27. "Seattle Fire Fighters chose to take a cut in pay to make sure that vital emergency services are not cut instead."
As the City of Seattle Finance department prepares the 2011-2012 biennial budget proposal, they have almost 7 million more dollars for fire department services due to fire fighters’ concessions. "Seattle Fire Fighters agreed to forego money for their families so the citizens of Seattle may be safe," said President Stuart. "As fire fighters, we believe that our oath to protect lives and property includes making sure that we have the necessary staffing, resources, and equipment." Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27, is also working closely with the Department and the City to find additional savings in other areas besides pay.
This is not the first time that Seattle Fire Fighters have given to help the City. In 2005, Seattle Fire Fighters agreed to work more shifts in order to help pay for 4-person staffing. 4-Person staffing is a national standard that allows fire fighters to safely enter burning buildings in cases where they would not otherwise have the ability. As a result, Seattle currently meets the minimum standard for fire department staffing on fire engines and fire trucks. A recent scientific study by the National Institute of Safety and Technology (NIST) confirmed that 4-person crews are 25% faster than 3-person crews at putting out house fires and rescuing victims. When seconds count, 25% is a very significant number.
Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27
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