A new contract for Cal Fire crews is in the works, with pay hikes and other benefits that the union has been pushing toward for years.
The new contract includes three small raises over the next year, shorter shifts and a monthly stipend to help cover health insurance costs. The idea is to get Cal Fire firefighters’ pay on par with that of other firefighters, as well as dealing with staffing shortages.
Currently, Cal Fire crews are the lowest paid in California. The job is demanding, disruptive to family life and comes with risks like injury or PTSD.
“The most significant deal in this contract is the commitment from the administration to start reducing work hours of the Cal Fire firefighters, as you said, we work a 72-hour shift already. The longest in the fire service anywhere in the country,” said Tim Edwards, president of Local 2881.
The contract has to be approved by union members and California state lawmakers. If passed, the agreement would increase state spending by $126 million per year by 2024.
Source: NBC Bay Area