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Friday, December 3, 2010

OCFA: Firefighters and Management Agree to Contract Concessions

FIREFIGHTER AND FIRE MANAGEMENT LABOR CONTRACT AMENDMENTS

Irvine, CA – At a special meeting last night, the Orange County Fire Authority Board of Directors voted to approve amendments to the labor contracts of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association (Local 3631) and the Chief Officers Association. The two labor groups opened their existing contracts and agreed to several concessions.

Firefighters and fire management will begin sharing the cost of their retirements by,ultimately, contributing nine percent of their pay for the benefit. The two labor groups also agreed to a new tier of lower retirement benefits for new employees.

“I am very proud of the Chief and his team, our firefighters, and my colleagues for coming together to resolve the long-term budget deficits facing our agency,” said Neil Blais, OCFA Board Chair. “Balancing operational cuts, reserves and these concessions restores the OCFA’s financial health without reducing emergency services to our residents.” The amendments are projected to reduce OCFA expenses by $27 million over the next four years and eliminates the projected $14 million operating deficit for FY 2011/12 had the concessions not been given by the two labor groups.

“This is another in a long series of give-backs in recent years from OC Firefighters that maintains Orange County emergency services with no new taxes,” said Joe Kerr, President of Orange County Professional Firefighters Association. “It exemplifies our ongoing commitment to fiscal prudence and the financial well-being of the Orange County Fire Authority.”

In addition to the concessions, Local 3631 and the Chief Officers Association are sharing risks with the OCFA by agreeing to an affordability formula where possible future cost-of-living adjustments are only triggered by OCFA’s financial stability. These contract amendments, along with previous salary concessions by unrepresented management, and other prudent cost cutting measures drastically reduces the projected amount of reserves that will be needed to balance the budget in upcoming years.

For more information, call (714) 573-6200 or go to www.ocfa.org
Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion at (714) 315-8814 krisconcepcion@ocfa.org

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