Firefighter Back Pay Goes Before City Council

The checks could fall anywhere between $5,000 and $8,000

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Firefighters putting out a garage blaze in eastern San Diego County discovered a body in the ashes afterward.

    The Chicago City Council is expected to consider Tuesday a firefighters and paramedics contract that would require the cash-strapped city to borrow $94 million.

    The Finance Committee on Monday approved doling out 10 percent pay raises over five years dating back to June 30, 2007, the Sun-Times reports.

    Committee members raised concerns before approving the contract. 

    "We knew approximately what this agreement might look like because it mirrored the [police] agreements, but other than 2011, we do not have back pay actually budgeted? We'll have to bond for that?" asked Ald. Tom Tunney (44th).

    "That's correct," said Deputy Budget Director Johnathon Johnson.

    Checks for back pay could fall anywhere between $5,000 and $8,000.

    Chicago taxpayers could receive some savings with work rule changes.

    The city wouldn't need to replace firefighters who go home sick and would have more leniency regarding the rule requiring five employees on every piece of fire apparatus.

    Mayor Daley failed to leave room to pay for the contract in his final budget.

    "It's similar to borrowing to pay for last year's groceries. It demonstrates a failure to plan and leave aside adequate funds," said Laurence Msall, Civic Federation president.