Negotiations underway to save Bay City firefighter jobs

Come July 1, Bay City could be down 15 firefighters.

â??That's a lot of firefighters,â?? exclaims Verna Connelly, a Bay City resident.

Despite the city's plan to move forward with public safety officers, officials say the layoffs are still needed to save the city much needed cash.

â??There will be monumental savings,â?? says Dana Muscott, acting city manager.

â??They need to think that over a little bit and maybe check their budget and possibly come up with a little bit more finances,â?? says Connelly.

Thatâ??s exactly what the fire union and city officials are doing Monday and Tuesday.

Union officials could not talk on camera because of day-long negotiations but tell NBC25 News, they hope finding new ways to cut costs can save some jobs.

â??Today is primarily going over---going back and forth---on wages, benefits, sick days, vacation days, things like that,â?? says Muscott.

There firefighters contract expires just as a dozen cross-trained public safety officers start fighting fires.

â??I understand, it is tough for the firemen and the policemen,â?? says Muscott.

The city's five year plan is to employ a total of 24 P.S.O's by 2017.

â??Still concerned about the response time,â?? says Connelly. â??That's the main concern,â?? she adds.

â??The benefit we see is that if a policeman is out in the neighborhood, he'll be able to respond to a fire quicker than someone out at the station,â?? says Muscott.

â??Just put some more back on duty,â?? says Connelly.

Muscott adds there is a possibility of reinstating some firefighters.

â??It could be, it depends on what comes out of these negotiations,â?? she says.