Pay is going up for the city of Erie's 135 firefighters. The firefighters will see pay hikes in each year of a new four year contract awarded by an arbitrator. Union President, Dave Chiaramonte tells us the deal calls for retroactive pay hikes of 2 percent in both the first and second half of 2012. After that, the package calls for 3 percent hikes each year through march of 2015.
What firefighters don't know though, is if they'll have to pay more for their health care contribution. The arbitrator left that decision for the police contract arbitration scheduled to begin in mid January.
Mayor Joe Sinnott told Weekends Now that the raises are standard, and what he expected. But he's disappointed that the arbitrator did not make a decision on the key issue of that health care contribution. "He kicked the can down the road," said Sinnott. The mayor says the health contribution question was one of the main reason the contract was referred to arbitration.