San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 01/25/16 – 9:10 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The city and one of its most consistent legal adversaries, the fire union, have a tentative agreement that ends all of their legal disputes, after the City Council approved it during a closed session meeting Monday, according to City Attorney Gary Saenz.

The terms of the agreement will be available to the public no later than Thursday, when it is included with a packet for the City Council’s final approval Feb. 1, according to a news release sent Monday night.

The proposed settlement ends nearly nine years of legal disputes, including all pre- and post-litigation claims and disputes, according to a news release quoting officials from both the city and the San Bernardino City Professional Firefighters.

“The SBCPF has come to the table with an equitable settlement that clearly is in the best interest of the City and the Firefighter Union, and gives the parties the best chance of moving forward in a fair and reasonable manner,” said Corey Glave, the fire union attorney, in the news release.

City Council members approached after Monday’s meeting said they could not comment on the tentative agreement, but Saenz said it was approved 6-0, with Councilman John Valdivia absent at the time.

If ratified by the council and the union, the agreement would eliminate any union opposition to the city’s plan to be annexed into the San Bernardino County Fire District, effectively outsourcing the 137-year-old Fire Department to the county.

In one of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury’s few rulings to favor the fire union at the expense of city officials, she ruled in September that the city hadn’t met its legal obligation to bargain with the fire union before outsourcing the Fire Department. The city would have to begin following that meet-and-confer process, but could continue moving forward with the outsourcing plan, Jury said at the time.

A hearing of the Local Agency Formation Commission on the city’s annexation proposal is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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