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Ottawa Council Settles Grievance With Fire Department

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2012

The cost of paying for an extra firefighter on duty versus overtime has the Ottawa City Council and fire union debating back and forth.

Yesterday the council met and agreed to let the Ottawa Fire Department have seven full-time workers on duty every shift instead of six.  Earlier this year, the council cut the staffing back to six because Mayor Bob Eschbach said overtime costs ballooned.  The firefighter’s union in turn filed a grievance claiming the city violated the collective bargaining agreement.  They claimed cutting on-duty staff by one creates a public safety issue.

Eschbach says he and the council will allow seven full-time firefighters on duty starting next month assuming overtime costs don’t get too high again.

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