NYC, Firefighters Reach Contract Resolving Feud

NEW YORK (AP) -

The union representing New York City firefighters reached a contract deal with Mayor Bill de Blasio, officials announced Thursday, resolving a feud over disability benefits, adding 20 five-member engine companies and providing 11 percent raises over seven years.

Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy, who represents about 8,000 city firefighters, said he was confident his members would ratify the proposed contract.

“I think that we got the best deal possible,” he said at a City Hall press conference. “We think that we have a deal that we could not walk away from.”

The agreement for the firefighters, who have gone without a contract since 2010, also provides that the mayor will back new state legislation to restore disability benefits up to 75 percent for about 1,700 firefighters hired after 2009. In return, firefighters would have to contribute 3 percent.

The city’s largest police union, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, is currently in arbitration over their contract. Union president Patrick Lynch said that the union would await the results of binding arbitration.