Firefighter Contract Clears Finance Committee Without Recommendation

PROVIDENCE, RI-The City Council’s Finance Committee tonight held a public hearing
and finalized the vetting process for the Elorza administration’s precedent-setting
five year tentative agreement with the firefighter’s union. Dissatisfied with the
contract’s terms, with no confidence in the administration’s fiscal note, Finance
Committee members sent the contract to the full Council without a recommendation.
The Committee adopted the internal auditor’s fiscal note.

Members cited numerous reasons for their lack of confidence in the contract,
including its unprecedented length, the absence of pension reform, the upcoming
reintegration of compound COLAs, and exaggerated savings alleged by the
administration throughout the vetting process.

The contract was submitted to the City Council in September without financial
reports to support the savings touted by the administration. After multiple
requests, the administration submitted two conflicting fiscal notes in November;
reviews from the city’s internal auditor revealed the administration miscalculated
projected savings in the fiscal notes by more than $7
million
and $11
million
respectively.

Finance Committee Chairman John Igliozzi also announced tonight that the Finance
Committee will conduct mid fiscal year budget reviews beginning in January to
analyze department spending against the budget.