L.A. firefighters union agrees to push back raise to avoid budget cuts

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Los Angeles city firefighters are seen battling an Echo Park fire in 2012. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles city firefighters are seen battling an Echo Park fire in 2012. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

The union that represents more than 3,600 Los Angeles city firefighters has agreed to push back a 4.5% raise scheduled for this summer, the latest concession offered up by a labor group as the city seeks to address a major budget crisis, according to a union bulletin sent Thursday.

United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112 tentatively agreed to postpone its next pay increase by 18 months in exchange for a guarantee that city leaders would avoid the imposition of “brownouts,” the temporary closure of fire stations, and preserve department staffing, the bulletin said.

The deal, which still requires a ratification vote from the union’s members, likely won’t help Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city leaders in closing a $675-million budget gap projected for the current fiscal year, since the next firefighter raise is set for July. But it could help them begin to address the next budget shortfall expected in 2021-22.

The firefighters union’s executive board called the deal fair for both sides, arguing it would help the city weather the financial crunch triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a drop in taxes and other revenues.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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