Friday, June 19, 2009

San Bernardino Council Approves Firefighter's Wage Cut! (The Press-Enterprise June 1, 2009).

BS Ranch Perspective:

It seems that the Budget crisis is effecting the Inland Empire, and what do you know but there is a city that is willing to take the obvious gamble at loosing personnel because of the shortfall in their Budget! However Unlike the State of California they have taken the bold move to actually go to the Union of the Fire Services and see if they were willing to take a cut in pay rather then lay off's! Being that the Cut in Pay made more sense then the Lay Off's they took the cut in pay so that they were able to try to work through the shortfall, without loosing any Personnel!!

BS Ranch

San Bernardino council approves firefighters' wage cut

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10:00 PM PDT on Monday, June 1, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

San Bernardino City Council members agreed Monday to a pay-and-benefit cut for firefighters aimed at saving the city $1.4 million over the next 13 months.

Council members approved the agreement unanimously. Firefighter union members already had approved it, union President Scott Moss said.

The agreement, which expires at the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year, marks the final wage concession by San Bernardino employee groups to plug a $9 million deficit in the city's $150 million general fund budget.

The contract calls for an across-the-board 8.7 percent pay cut and does away with an earlier negotiating point that would have cut the city's contribution for health coverage by $664 per employee per month.

The percentage-based pay cut was more equitable, said Linn Livingston, the city's human resources director.

She said the agreement also requires firefighters to sell 48 hours of accrued vacation time back to the city by the end of the month, and another 48 hours before July 1, 2010, the start of the 2010-11 fiscal year. The firefighters would be required to work those hours, Livingston said.

She said that's cheaper than the current arrangement. Under the city's "constant manning" policy, any position left vacant by a firefighter on vacation must be staffed by a co-worker on overtime, Livingston said.

In return, council members agreed to extend a union contract, which was due to expire at the end of this month, for another year.

Further, firefighters will be allowed to log four hours of paid leave per week in a "time bank" for later use.

Until the start of the 2010-11 fiscal year, the contract restricts firefighters from drawing more leave from their time bank than they would ordinarily accumulate in a year.

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