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New city firefighter contract eliminates two positions in 2018, cuts healthcare in retirement for new hires

The city and the union representing city firefighters have come to an agreement on a new contract that won't have much near-term impact on city spending, but should mean cost savings in the future.

The contract will allow the city to eventually eliminate two firefighter positions and will save the city the expense of providing health insurance in retirement to firefighters hired after the contract was implemented.

"We've been getting every union to agree to that moving forward," Molino said.

Firefighters will get a 2.75-percent pay increase for the current year.

The contract also calls for: an increase in qualifications in order to serve as acting lieutenant; new hires' participation in the wellness program provided for other city employees; random drug testing; and changes to paid leave.

The fire department currently has four vacancies. Instead of being required to fill all four vacancies this year, the city will be able to fill one vacancy a year for the next four years.

Currently, there are 36 union positions in the department -- 28 firefighters and eight supervisors. Under terms of the new contract, which runs for five years, the city will be able to eliminate two firefighter positions in 2018.

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