Flint firefighters approved more concessions in effort to save jobs Tuesday night. The cost-cutting deal was supported by 75 percent of the Flint Firefighters Union Local 352 members.
The deal requires firefighters to pay two percent more into their retirement funds, bringing their total contribution to nearly 8 percent. It also requires them to give up bonuses that would be awarded if they do not call in sick during a certain time period, and give back up to half of holiday pay they receive.
Union President Raul Garcia said the move will prevent layoffs in the fire department; a goal outlined by Mayor Dayne Walling in his recent budget proposal to city council members.
I believe not only can it save jobs but we can TMt have less personnel. I mean we TMre kind of like the police you know? You have to have both of us out there. We both can TMt afford anymore cuts, Garcia said.
The contract also includes the brownout plan long supported by Garcia and several others in union leadership. It a lower but specific number of firefighters to cover shifts and fire stations while allowing for reductions in targeted areas. Garcia said the city can save up to $400,000.