Firefighters' concessions to fill budget hole in Harrisburg

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Feb 12, 2014 4:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Harrisburg firefighters have agreed to a new, concession-filled contract that will ensure a balanced budget in the Capital City.

The firefighters' union has voted 38-15 in favor of a new contract agreement, which means no increase in pay for 2013 or 2014.  Members will also be contributing more to their health care costs.

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse says the concessions will fill a $1.6 million hole in the new city budget.

"A tremendous number of sacrifices are being made by the firefighters union in an effort to allow this city to move forward," he says.

Papenfuse hopes the cuts being made across all of Harrisburg's union contracts will ultimately be restored as the city gets back on its financial feet.

Fire Chief Brian Enterline says that, after years of frustrating negotiations, it brings closure for both the city and the union.

"This plan is no panacea by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a starting point for the rebuilding and recovery of the city," he adds.

Capital City Paid Firefighters President Glenn Sattizahn calls the mayor's involvement the turning point in tense negotiations with the state-appointed receiver's office.

Once the language is finalized, the contract will be presented to city council for approval this spring.

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