Fire chiefs to get raises despite layoff concerns - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fire chiefs to get raises despite layoff concerns

Jim Camden
Spokesman-Review

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane city fire battalion chiefs will get raises over the next four years, despite concerns by some City Council members that the economy is forcing taxpayers to take cuts or face layoffs.

More information from

www.spokesman.com

The Spokane City Council was told Monday that it had little choice but to give members of the Spokane Association of Fire Officers - the union that represents 10 battalion chiefs - raises negotiated in collective bargaining sessions. If the council refused, the city could be accused of bad-faith bargaining and facing binding arbitration, said Gita Hatcher, who represented the city in negotiations.

The raises, which are between 3.6 percent and 5.8 percent for battalion chiefs over the life of the contract, are in line with settlements around the state in departments of similar size. That's what an arbitrator would look at in binding arbitration, Hatcher said.

The battalion chiefs are accepting a higher cost of medical insurance, she added. Last year, the chiefs made between $108,000 and $123,000.

"It is a good contract. It is an equitable contract," Hatcher said. >>More on Spokesman

 

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