KC Council Approve Fire Department Cuts in Effort to Avoid Lay-Offs
May 11, 2012

The Kansas City Council today voted 10-2 in favor of a new 3-year contract with the city’s firefighters union. The agreement factors in a $7.6 million cut to the fire department and strives to avoid layoffs, but neither side was fully satisfied.
The pact calls for the retirement or attrition of about 33 of the most senior firefighters and takes two underused companies out of service. It also requires firefighters to work more hours before overtime kicks in. Additional savings will come from the retirement or voluntary departure of about 17 other department employees from the ranks of battalion chiefs, deputy chiefs and civilians.
Supporters said this was a good deal that came out of contentious negotiations with Local 42 of the International Association of Fire Fighters.
“We will be working to make sure we have the excellent department our citizens deserve,” said Councilwoman Jan Marcason.
Council members Ed Ford and Jim Glover voted against the deal and said they had major concerns about a multiyear agreement that they aren’t sure the city can afford.
Councilman John Sharp voted for the agreement and said he was glad it avoids layoffs, but he worried that closure of the station near Richards Gebaur Air Base will in fact jeopardize public safety in south Kansas City.

Read more here: http://midwestdemocracy.com/articles/breaking-council-votes-10-2-3-year-pact-firefighters/#storylink=cpy