Fri May 11, 2012
Kansas City Council OKs Firefighter Contract
The Kansas City Council has affirmed a three-year contract with Local 42 of the Firefighters Union. Accord came after weeks of negotiations.
With ten yes and two dissenting votes the measure eased through the Council. The peaceful passage was in contrast to often contentious hearings earlier in the Spring.
The contract brings with it $7.6 million in cuts to the Kansas City Fire Department budget and loss of 33 jobs of more seasoned firefighters, either by early retirements or by attrition.
Councilman Jim Glover was one of the two no votes, saying he's worried the three-year term may lock in expenditures the city won't be able to pay for. He's also unhappy with the department's operation of ambulances.
"I opposed the joining of the ambulances and the fire department way back in 1999. Didn't think it would work, don't think the ambulance service functions well now," says Glover.
Glover said he based that on response times and understaffing.
Councilman Ed Ford joined in voting no.
Two lesser-used fire stations will close as part of the agreement.