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Tue June 7, 2011
Providence firefighters union says they understand the city's broke
By CATHERINE WELCH
PROVIDENCE, RI – The Providence firefighters union says it will sit down with the city Wednesday to continue negotiations. The city is looking for a 10 percent cut from the fire department. And if a deal isn't reached by Friday, the city says it will start looking to let go of 92 firefighters.
Paul Doughty, President of the Providence firefighters union, says firefighters want to do their part but they also want the city to factor in recent negotiations that saved Providence more than $2 million.
"There's seemingly no recognition or appreciation or accounting for that, it's simply, 'we don't care what you've done in the past, everyone has to pay 10 percent,'" says Doughty.
Doughty says firefighters fear that the city will come back again next year looking for more cuts.
Providence's human resources department has started telling 78 police officers that they will lose their jobs if the city can't reach a deal with the police union to save $6 million by July 1st.
The city is making cuts in police and fire, fired some non-union city staff, is closing six schools, and hiking property taxes to cope with a $110 million budget shortfall in the next fiscal year.
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