City Council Approves New Firefighter Agreement

The agreement saves the jobs of 25 firefighters in New London.

By Ilana Gold
|  Thursday, Aug 2, 2012  |  Updated 11:34 PM EDT
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Firefighters Keep their Jobs

The 25 firefighters who were expected to be laid off next week can now breathe a sigh of relief.

New London City Council voted 4-2 in favor of a new agreement among the firefighter's union Thursday night.

“I think it’s great,” said Peter Greenwald. 

Saving those jobs was a huge relief for people who live in New London.  They worried a smaller force would lead to slower response times in emergencies.

“I was concerned for public safety...yes,” said Sean McCaslin. 

It had been a roller coaster ride for the dozens of firefighters in question since budget cuts were proposed in May.

“It's been extremely emotional for them,” said Rocco Basilica with the firefighters union. 

Just two weeks ago Mayor Daryl Finizio told them their jobs were gone, but city councilors just approved an agreement he and the union came up with to save the positions.

“It's positive and we're thrilled,” Basilica added.

The agreement came with a compromise.  The New London Fire Department lost 9 positions through vacancies and retirements.

Also, firefighters gave up more than a 5 percent raise through the next year.  The changes saved more than a million dollars.

“The most important thing was the men keeping their jobs that was the most important thing,” Basilica explained.

It was a compromise the fire department was willing to make, to not only earn a paycheck, but to keep the community safe.

“This is  a profound relief for everyone involved,” said Mayor Daryl Finizio.

The mayor said the jobs would be protected through the rest of their contract which lasts a few more years.
 

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