Firefighters, city close to agreement
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The Havre City Council labor and negotiations committee and the local firefighters union have reached a tentative agreement on a one-year labor contract.
The agreement came after both sides had reached a stalemate and intended to go to mediation.
City Council member Tom Farnham, chairman of the labor and negotiations committee, announced the agreement at Monday night's council meeting.
The main part of the offer is a 4 percent pay increase, 1 percentage point higher than the city's last offer, which was rejected by the union.
The City Council's finance committee met after a council meeting on Aug. 8 and decided that it could give the union the 4 percent increase it was looking for, Farnham said. He delivered the city's offer to the fire station on Wednesday.
He said that the money situation was better than the council had anticipated once it adopted a preliminary budget.
"When we make the cuts, we have to look at what we have left," Farnham said today. "We were able to get it in there.
Kelly Jones, vice president of Local 601 of the International Association of Firefighters, said union members will approve the offer made by Farnham.
The next meeting of the committee and the union, where the agreement may be finalized, is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday, Farnham said.