As a result, the SFPD has issued five layoff notices effective Sept. 12 in order to balance the budget without reducing salaries or benefits.
Should the labor dispute remain stalled, a resolution process that includes fact-finding and final-offer arbitration will begin.
Core to the negotiations is the need to reduce personnel costs in order to address a $1,079,000 deficit included in the district’s adopted operating budget for the current fiscal year.
In attempts to renegotiate other district fire contracts, the Washoe Board of County Commissioners has said that current contracts requiring the use of a four-person engine crew at all times is unsustainable. And, absent an agreement to reduce staffing, layoffs become necessary and reduced service coverage can be expected as tax revenues continue to decline.
The layoff notices were issued to three captains, one firefighter and one mechanic, which will reduce coverage at the Bowers Fire Station by 50 percent.
The Galena and Verdi stations would remain at full staffing. The decisions were based on an analysis of call volume as well as service coverage, county officials said.
“Given the terms of the current contract with fire fighters in Local 3895, we simply cannot meet the remaining deficit without reducing personnel costs.” said Michael Greene, SFPD Chief, in a statement. “We remain hopeful an agreement can be reached on the remaining few issues of a new contract that would avoid layoffs and provide cost savings to minimize impacts to our employees and continue the current level of protection to our citizens.”