Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Research Bureau pours water on fire raise

        The Boston Municipal Research Bureau, an independent fiscal watchdog, called on the city late Tuesday to reject an arbitrator-brokered pay raise for firefighters.
Under the deal, which requires City Council approval, firefighters would get a raise of 19 percent over four years, costing the city $74 million over five years.
The city can't afford that, the Research Bureau found. The report argues that the the City Council has a fiduciary responsibility to consider the impact such an agreement would have. Among problems, the bureau stated, is that other union contracts would cost more in the future due to the firefighters' deal.
The Research Bureau said in its report that there's precedent — a Worcester back-and-forth in 2004 — for a city to reject an arbitrator's award. In that case, the city and firefighters resumed bargaining.

        It has been a tough few years and some are thankful that they still have a job let alone getting a well deserved  raise. What exactly does this increase include and can we afford it with all the downsizing of the private sector and the decrease in revenues paid to the state?    Lucky and smart are some in the firefighter's union that have second jobs as plumbers, painters, and electricians and are able to compete in the private sector to supplement their income.

2 comments:

  1. There has been some discussions in various locales about out-sourcing some traditional city functions---fire and ambulance/EMS for example. A number of smaller towns have out-sourced their Water and Sewage departments and have reduced municipal costs and improved quality and service at the same time.

    A number of small communities have fired their police departments and out-sourced that function to the county Sheriff. Here in Missouri, communities have banded together to provide fire service. Why should that not be privatized as well? If the cost can be reduced or at least held steady while maintaining performance and quality, why not?

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