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SD Firefighters Agree to Contract

San Diego’s firefighters union ratified a labor contract with the city today. The union president says the deal is bittersweet. KPBS reporter Katie Orr has details.

The union has agreed to freeze both salaries and retiree health benefits for the next two years. Firefighters will also give up 140 hours in holiday pay and contribute more to their retirement plans. There are also other concessions. The city will save about 5.8 million dollars. Union President Frank De Clercq says negotiators are happy a deal has been reached, but know it may not be easy to accept.

“We realize that is comes at a steep price to our members, who will see a significant reduction in compensation. However, we understand the crisis our city is facing. We understand that our friends and neighbors in both the public and private sectors are struggling to keep their heads above water right now,” he says.

A city negotiator says agreements should be finalized with the deputy city attorneys and the city’s white collar workers by next week.

Katie Orr, KPBS News.

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