PROVIDENCE, RI – The City of Providence and its fire fighters union have a tentative agreement for a five year contract that realizes structural healthcare and retirement savings while resolving several ongoing legal disputes between the city and the union.
“I’m pleased to report that the City and the Fire fighters Union have reached an agreement that is truly beneficial to all parties,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “Not only have we created ongoing structural savings, we have made the fire department more sustainable and resolved recent debate over fire fighter scheduling. I am grateful to Chief Justice Frank Williams, Union President Paul Doughty, Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré, City Solicitor Jeffrey Dana and all who worked to bring about this resolution. Working together, the city is now on a long-term sustainable path.”
This agreement will return Providence Fire fighters to a 4 platoon schedule with a reduced minimum manning of 88 fire fighters/shift (previously 94/shift). Recent reports have shown this reduction meets or exceeds best practices in comparable cities throughout the region. The proposed contract will result in a $15 million savings over the next 5 years, in addition to substantial savings to be realized in healthcare and dental costs.
“Today marks what the Providence Fire Fighters hope is a proposal that begins to address several significant issues facing both the city and the fire department,” said Union President Paul Doughty. “This proposal is just that, a proposal, but it is a positive step and I look forward to addressing the remaining issues with Mayor Elorza.”
Mayor Elorza and union representatives came together Monday night to sign the tentative agreement. This agreement will go to IAFF Local 799 for review. If approved, changes will go into effect November 1, 2016.