San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 02/01/16 – 9:26 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> An agreement between the city and its firefighter union that ends more than $40 million worth of disputes is now final, with approval from both sides.

The City Council voted 6-0 Monday to approve the settlement, one week after approving a tentative version of the plan in closed session.

“Reaching equitable settlements are essential to exiting bankruptcy,” City Attorney Gary Saenz said in a written statement. “We are required to assess the short- and long-term costs associated with each settlement the city enters into and agree on terms that allow the city to be financially and service solvent. This settlement does both.

“We have been able to agree on an equitable settlement of over $40 million in claims and clear up the transition process for fire employees associated with the proposed annexation to county fire.”

Most of the city firefighters will transfer to San Bernardino County Fire Department.

Members of the San Bernardino City Professional Firefighters voted last week to approve the agreement, which union President Jeff English said redresses “inappropriate past financial actions” by the city.

“This global agreement is a positive step that will improve emergency response times and increase fire protection and paramedic services for San Bernardino residents,” English said in a statement. “Ensuring better public safety has always been the most important consideration for city firefighters.”

The 22-page agreement ends nine years of claims the fire union brought against the city, with the city agreeing to several payments in exchange for the union dropping its claims and supporting the fire outsourcing process and bankruptcy exit plan.

Components include:

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