At a press conference Monday, Bill Junkin, chief negotiator for the 64 firefighters in Local 428 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said members voted Friday to advance an offer that Junkin called "very similar" to the receiver's initial proposal.
"I'm optimistic and confident" of a final resolution within the next month, Junkin said, adding "Harrisburg's bravest are now Harrisburg strong."
Junkin would not disclose details of the firefighters' offer, but said the package includes a mix of wage cuts, health care cost containment proposals, and retirement concessions.
He also said the projected savings will hit the targets contained in the debt recovery plan, which calls for about $4 million per year in workforce savings.
"We're trying to cooperate the best way we can without jeopardizing the safety of our members and the public," Junkin said.
Junkin said his members' biggest concern, collectively, is with a proposal to reduce the city's minimum number of firefighters per shift from 16 to 14, but he noted that under the Commonwealth Court's direction the union has little choice to accept that aspect of the plan.
William Lynch, the state-appointed receiver charged with executing Harrisburg's recovery plan, said after the firefighters' press conference that he was not familiar with the details of union's most recent proposal.
"We're quite happy to continue working with them on an agreement that everyone can live with," Lynch said, but he added that in the end, that agreement will have to be consistent with concessions already made by the police and non-uniformed workers.
Written by Patriot-News