Firefighters unions working to save jobs Support bill offering early retirements.

October 17, 1991|By Patrick Gilbert | Patrick Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff

Firefighters union leaders are expected to meet tomorrow with William R. Brown Jr., the city's chief financial officer, to work out differences in a bill that would provide incentives for senior firefighters to take early retirement.

Officials of Baltimore Fire Fighters Local 734 and the Baltimore City Fire Officers Association Local 964 say enactment of the measure would minimize layoffs in the Baltimore City Fire Department.

On Tuesday, the department announced plans to cut $3 million from its budget by laying off some 200 firefighters and closing up to eight fire houses.

Baltimore is facing an expected $21 million reduction in state aid as part of Gov. William Donald Schaefer's plan to get the state out from under a $450 million deficit.

The early-retirement bill was introduced in the city council last June. But Mayor Kurt Schmoke was concerned about its cost and asked that it be held for study.

Schmoke says enactment of the bill would result in "the permanent elimination of 240 jobs" to fund the buyouts for senior fire fighters.

"With layoffs, at least we can rehire the personnel if somehow our financial situation improves," the mayor said.

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