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City Council President May Oppose Firefighters' Raise

Boston City Council President Michael Ross says he would vote against an arbitration-awarded raise for Boston's firefighters if they fail to make any concessions to the city.

The controversial raise, which would equal 2.5 percent next month and calls for a 19 percent salary increase over four years, is in exchange for firefighters agreeing to take random drug tests.

"The public outrage over the settlement has been palpable," Ross said.

Despite Ross' words, Boston firefighters say they're confident the council will approve the arbitration award. The president of the firefighters union, Ed Kelly, says there will be no more concessions.

"We're comfortable with our votes on the council," he said.

But at least two other councilors agree with Ross. If City Council rejects the arbitration award, the firefighters and Mayor Thomas M. Menino would have to negotiate a new agreement.

The council has enlisted a MIT economist to review the arbitrator’s decision (Report PDF) and is expected to hold a hearing in the coming weeks before voting on the contract.

This program aired on May 19, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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