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Harrisburg firefighters' union reaches tentative deal with receivers, members

Updated: Tuesday, October 22 2013, 08:22 AM CDT
Reported by: James Tully

HARRISBURG -- Members of the Pennsylvania Fire Fighters' association say they have agreed to a proposal to make cuts and help resolve Harrisburg’s financial crisis.   

Monday afternoon, the chief negotiator for the 64 firefighters that work in the City of Harrisburg announced they have agreed to a proposal that will help the city save more than $5 million in the next three years.

Unable to comment on specifics, Bill Junkin, a firefighter for the Local 428, said the proposal will exceed the initial $4.8 million in cuts Harrisburg's Strong Plan is calling for.  "Using their numbers, we have come up with a three-year cost saving plan that will save them no less than $5.1 million," Junkin said.

He added that plan has the average Harrisburg firefighter giving up roughly $26,500 a year. That will be coming from wage reductions, benefit reductions, and retirement reductions. According to Junkin, the average non-firefighter employee in the city will sacrifice roughly $7,800 a year, more than three times less than firefighters are being asked to give up.

There will not be any layoffs but staffing will be reduced. Junkin admitted it is possible that the safety of his fellow firefighters and the citizens they protect could suffer. The deal has not been finalized. The union says they are still tying up loose ends with the state's receiver.  

CBS 21 reached out to a spokesperson for the receiver who said they cannot comment until the union speaks with the receiver, and as of late Monday evening, that had not happened.Harrisburg firefighters' union reaches tentative deal with receivers, members

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