Somerville, Firefighers Reach Contract Agreement

The city of Somerville says it will be able to avoid layoffs and service cuts in a new contract with its firefighters.

An arbitration ruling had called on the city to award more than $4 million in back pay to firefighters. The city says that would have forced more than 30 layoffs.

Instead, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone says the city will pay about $3 million, with some of that held until next year.

“It gives us more predictability and clarity moving forward with the firefighters union, so it’s a much better deal financially for the taxpayers and for the city,” the mayor said.

Curtatone also called the agreement a “very good” one for firefighters. Under the deal, firefighters receive pay increases of 2 to 3 percent each year.

The mayor says he hopes submit the new plan to the Board of Aldermen as soon as possible.