LB FIREFIGHTERS APPROVE CONCESSIONS TO CONTRACT CITY ALREADY SIGNEDBy LBReport.com
Rank and file members of the Long Beach Firefighters Association (LBFFA) have voted to approve changes to their City Hall contract, which were sought by city management and pressed by Mayor Bob Foster, although the existing contract had already been negotiated and signed by City Hall. According to the LBFFA president Capt. Rich Brandt, roughly 63 percent of voters approved changes.
Terms of the deal include:
Firefighters receive previously negotiated and agreed pay raises.
In exchange, firefighters pay the full amount of their pension shares.
City management pledges not to reduce staffing from four to three firefighters on fire engines in fiscal year 2012, although with the Fire Chief (city management) [according to a City Hall release] “retaining the ability to adjust staffing levels, if necessary.”
Brandt told LBReport.com his union’s members “knew pension reform needed to happen. We came to the table as we’ve done in the past looking for longtime sustainability with the objective of maintaining four-person staffing, and we were able to accomplish that.”
Asked about giving the Fire Chief [city management] the power to “adjust staffing levels if necessary,” LBFFA Prsident Brandt said the language ensures that the Fire Chief “has authority to run the Department, not politicians.” President Brandt declined to release the exact contract language on grounds the City Council hadn’t voted in a public meeting to approve it yet.