Fort Worth, Firefighters Agree to New Contract

A new contract for Fort Worth firefighters is nearly a done deal.

The city and the Fire Department have reached a tentative 4-year deal that guarantees firefighters a total of about $10.7 million in raises and benefits and includes a one-time $1.6 million set-aside for retiree health benefits.

The agreement also preserves the city's management rights, adds a new appointed rank of Division Chief and will keep four-person crews on all firetrucks.

"The voters gave the city clear direction to negotiate with the Firefighters Association, and that's exactly what we have done," said City Manager Dale Fisseler. "Both negotiating teams have put a lot of effort in to this product, and I believe we have a fair agreement. We got some of what we wanted, and so did the Association."

The Fort Worth Firefighters Association must approve the contract before it can be forwarded to the city council to be ratified.

"I think it's a good deal considering the current state of the economy," said Jim Tate, president of the Fort Worth Firefighters Association. "I do applaud the city's commitment to continue four-person staffing, which enhances our ability to protect and serve our citizens."

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