1. #1
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    Post Pittsburgh Contract

    Mayor, firefighters' union approve tentative five-year contract
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    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Mayor Tom Murphy and the firefighters' union
    on Wednesday agreed on a five-year contract proposal, including pay
    freezes, fewer holidays and higher health care costs, that cuts
    spending even more than was sought by two state boards overseeing
    the city's finances.
    A new, leaner contract for firefighters had been sought by the
    city and two state oversight boards because the Fire Bureau
    accounted for $51.7 million, or 12.2 percent, of the city's $417.5
    million operating budget.
    Murphy said the proposed pact would reduce the Fire Bureau's
    budget more than what was called for by the state-appointed Act 47
    Recovery Team and a five-year spending plan approved by another
    oversight board, the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority,
    appointed by the Legislature.
    The proposed pact, which needs to be approved by firefighters
    and city council, would save the city more than $20 million over
    the next five years, Murphy said.
    The contract, which would be retroactive to January, would
    freeze firefighters' pay this year and next year and also cut
    firefighters' bimonthly paychecks by $45 this year. It would also
    cut four holidays, limit firefighters to a maximum of 20 days of
    vacation starting next year. New firefighters will have smaller
    pensions and not receive health care when they retire.
    The city would also eliminate six fire companies, or about 110
    firefighters, although no firefighters will be laid off because the
    city has 208 firefighter positions unfilled, said Jacqueline
    Morrow, the city's solicitor.
    The contract also would allow the city to make further cuts
    suggested by the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority in 2007. A
    report by a consultant recommended that the city close a third of
    its 35 fire stations and cut 288 jobs.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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  2. #2
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    Post

    PITTSBURGH (AP) - The City Council approved a five-year contract
    with the city's firefighters union on Wednesday that will let the
    city close six fire stations, cut 108 already vacant firefighter
    positions and freeze salaries for two years, among other cuts.
    The council voted 7-2 in favor of the contract, with Luke
    Ravenstahl and Doug Shields opposing the measure, which was
    intended to allow the city to abide by its Act 47 economic recovery
    plan.
    The plan requires the city to cut $10.7 million in firefighter
    costs this year. Mayor Tom Murphy has said the new contract will
    save the city some $20 million over its span, but detractors say a
    no-layoff clause in the contract could undo some of those savings.
    Firefighters will pay more for health care, as will future
    retirees. The contract also cuts four holidays a year, leaving the
    firefighters with 10 paid holidays, and gives each firefighter no
    more than 20 vacation days each year starting in 2006.
    The union voted overwhelmingly to approve the deal on Friday.
    On Monday, the city will start closing the stations, including
    the 104-year-old structure in the city's Troy Hill neighborhood,
    whose residents turned out in force in a failed attempt to block
    the new contract Wednesday. Firefighters in those six stations will
    seek positions in other stations.
    City operations director Bob Kennedy said officials hope to keep
    using the old fire station buildings to house city vehicles or for
    other uses.
    ---
    Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
    http://www.post-gazette.com

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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