Tulsa Firefighters Union And City Hashing Out Contract Negotiations

Friday, January 17th 2014, 6:11 pm
By: News On 6

The Firefighters Union and the City of Tulsa continue to negotiate agreements over proposed budget cuts. Both groups issued news releases Friday citing areas of disagreement.

Tulsa Firefighters Local President Chad Miller released a statement saying no agreement has been reached regarding the proposed budget cuts to Tulsa Fire Departments.

"It is true the City made an offer yesterday to the Local 176 after almost a week of taking the position it could implement changes without consulting with the firefighters and the citizens we have sworn to protect at risk." Miller said.

The City wanted to cut $327,000 in overtime by moving seven administrators back to the field. The move would save overtime by having them fill in for firefighters out sick or on vacation.

"Tulsa's firefighters want to remind the public that the proposed cuts are a result of City Finance failing to properly estimate revenues and expenses for the year," Miller said.

"Our City is not in the midst of a recession as it was in 2009 and 2010."

Miller said a counter proposal was sent to the City for consideration.

The City of Tulsa responded by saying they have decided to avoid costly litigation and reinstate four firefghters to special assignments within the public education unit of the department's administrative division.

"By moving the public education officers to the field and shifting personnel in other areas, the Fire Department expected to save $327,000, primarily in overtime cost recovery," the city news release states.

"The positions were not to be abolished, but would have been filled by light duty firefighters."

Mayor Dewey Bartlett said he is rejecting an alternative option offered by the Union to delay the February fire academy.

"The class of 12 has already been recruited, and they are needed in the field to ensure firefighter and citizen safety," Bartlett said.