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.
This program aired on January 20, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.