Firefighter Union Votes On Mayor's Pay Freeze Request

A union representing Columbus city firefighters held a meeting to discuss the mayor's pay freeze request on Sunday.


Four other city unions rejected Mayor Michael Coleman's request to give up pay raises and bonuses this year in order to prevent more city layoffs, 10TV's Glenn McEntyre reported.


Firefighter Union President Jack Reall said his members have been holding meetings to discuss their options.


"We've got a lot of guys that are due to retire here in the next few years, and this will significantly impact their pension for the rest of their life. Probably in the range of 130 to 150 bucks a month," Reall said, "On the alternative, we have people who are very young in this department who are very concerned they might be laid off."


The union's 1,531 members will have until midnight to cast their vote, McEntyre reported.


The union leaders will inform Coleman of their decision before noon on Monday.


The mayor's office said Coleman and 400 non-union city workers already gave up their 2009 raises.


Coleman said he's asking the union workers to make the same sacrifice, McEntyre reported.


" It's a tightrope we're walking," Reall said, "The primary concern of our members is if we do this, what's going to happen for the rest of 2009?"


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