Omaha Public Radio News
12:19 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

City of Omaha, fire union reach tentative contract agreement

Omaha, NE – Each Omaha firefighter will contribute 691 dollars a year to the city's pension system under a new agreement.

Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and Omaha Professional Firefighters Association officials announced the tentative agreement Tuesday morning. Firefighters have been without a new contract since December 2007.

The deal freezes wages for firefighters for 2010 and the first half of 2011. It also raises the minimum retirement age to 55. Mayor Jim Suttle says the contract addresses concerns over pension spiking, while at the same time ensuring the safety of firefighters.

Steve LeClair, president of the Omaha Professional Firefighters Association, says his negotiating team approached discussions with the mindset that any new contract had to ensure safe working conditions and fair wages.

A seven-percent penalty per year would apply for firefighters who retire before age 55. Firefighters who joined OFD as of January first will have their pensions calculated based on regular salary.

Firefighters are set to vote on the new contract June 29th and 30th. The Omaha City Council will vote on it July 12th.