Firefighters Have Become A Big Problem
September 13, 2010 1 Comment
It is worthwhile reading the BusinessWeek story about the power of national firefighters union and their push to get more bargaining power nationally. Some are blind or indifferent to the future of the finances of the cities that they serve so well and that compensate them so well.
Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee have resorted to shutting fire stations temporarily or taking trucks out of service to cut costs. Philadelphia’s closings, which began last month, are intended to save $3.8 million, mostly by cutting overtime. Firefighters’ pay played a key role in the 2008 municipal bankruptcy of Vallejo, Calif., a city of 115,000 near San Francisco. Its fire and police contracts called for raises of more than 10 percent just as the housing crash hammered tax collections. The average firefighter’s pay and benefits were set to hit $193,000 a year before the town went bust.