SAN JOSE (AP/KCBS) – San Jose officials and city firefighters have reached a tentative deal that would cut firefighters’ pay and benefits by 10 percent for the next two years in exchange for no additional layoffs.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The deal was announced by city officials on Thursday. Jeff Welch, president of the firefighters union, says firefighters are making sacrifices in the deal but are happy with it.

The city’s 647 firefighters are expected to ratify the deal over the weekend. The City Council is expected to approve it on Tuesday.

“They’re taking a great deal of leadership, making some sacrifices,” declared San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. “These are serious and substantive reductions in pay and benefits that they’re taking in order to save jobs for their coworkers and protect the people of San Jose.”

The council and Reed are seeking 10 percent cuts from all of the city’s 11 employee unions to help close a $105 million budget gap.

“The firefighters are the first to agree to a contract, we’re still negotiating with the police union and all the other unions, hoping that they’ll take the lead from the firefighters and help us save jobs and save services by taking a 10% reduction in pay and benefits,” Reed praised the firefighters union.

Reed warned that times were still tough in San Jose.

“The 10 percent will not be enough to bring back the firefighters that we had to lay off last year because last year we had a budget shortfall, this year it’s just as big and just as bad,” he acknowledged. “But it will save the jobs of the people who are on the fire force right now and that’s really important.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (6)
  1. John Q. says:

    Why don’t we ask mayor Reed about the $15 million dollar SAFER grant and bring back those who were laid off. The grant has been awarded, just not accepted by the city.

  2. Concerned says:

    Mr. Bigler, you should do some investigative reporting into the SAFER grant. San Jose recieved the largest award in the country. Should be worth a look.

  3. tim conway says:

    what about the safer grant. free money to the city of san jose for further coverage that is badly needed

  4. Outraged says:

    How is it that 100% of the people leaving comments know about the SAFER grant, yet it is not even mentioned in the article??? Lame. Do some actual journalism please, and hold Mr. Reed accountable for closing THREE fire engines down that are already paid for!

  5. Jay Tomjanovich says:

    SJFD is over staffed. Audits by SJ citizens, Hoover Institute, Fire Commission and others have shown that laying off firemen does no harm to response time and does not endanger the city. The Unions mandated the massive hiring only in the name of strengthening their numbers for political clout and to embolden their importance.
    Signed, Jay Tomjanovich, SJFD Captain – Ret.

    1. Tom Janovich says:

      I can’t seem to find any record of you being a firefighter for SJFD. When did you retire and where did you work?

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