The city of Omaha and Professional Firefighters Association have reached a tentative agreement that avoids the layoffs of 19 firefighters.
Mayor Jean Stothert and Fire Union president Steve LeClair announced the agreement Wednesday. Last week, Stothert announced that layoff notices were being sent to firefighters. Both the city and the Fire Union made counter-offers in hopes of avoiding job cuts.
Mayor Stothert says a paramedic training class set for December will be delayed, and reduced from 24 to 9 members.
"We will eliminate the June 2014 class of 24 students. Additionally, we will reduce the scheduled December 2014 class from 24 to 9 students or a number mutually agreed upon by both parties."
LeClair says the tentative agreement means no rigs will be taken out of service.
"We negotiated in good faith and made concessions in assisting the city in balancing their budget in 2014. However, we stood firm on our priorities to maintain safe staffing levels and to keep rigs in service in order to provide the people of Omaha the level of protection they have come to expect."
LeClair says Fire Union members will vote on the tentative agreement in about 19 days. It must also be approved by the city’s Personnel Board and the Omaha City Council. The tentative agreement would be in effect through December 20, 2014, when the current Fire Department contract expires.