Monday, February 26, 2007

AP Wire | 02/26/2007 | South Pasadena firefighters accept contract deal

AP Wire | 02/26/2007 | South Pasadena firefighters accept contract deal
South Pasadena firefighters accept contract deal
Associated Press

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. - The city's firefighters have reluctantly agreed to a new contract after more than a year and a half of impasse.

The South Pasadena Fire Department and City Hall have been struggling to negotiate a new contract after the last one expired in 2005.

Under the deal, firefighters would receive a one-year, 2.25 percent raise. The contract, which will be retroactive to 2006, will run out in June.

Union members said they were unhappy with the outcome, but decided to settle anyway.

"Basically, we needed to put some money in our guys' pockets," said fire Capt. Kris Saxon, who is also president of the South Pasadena Firefighters Association.

The city has a single firehouse with about 22 employees.

Tension increased in 2005 after the city decided not to contract services out to neighboring Pasadena or Los Angeles, a move that would have boosted firefighter salaries. Last year, union president Brett Hill resigned after two decades in the department, saying he was frustrated over pay issues.

City manager Lillian Meyers said the city was aware of wage inequities.

"Our goal is to establish equity along city positions," she said. "We know that many of our salaries are likely out of whack, or at least below the median."

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