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Disagreement between Oklahoma City, firefighters’ union settled; special election canceled

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OKLAHOMA CITY – It will no longer be up to voters to settle a contract dispute between Oklahoma City and the local firefighters’ union.

Earlier this year, the city council agreed to let the public decide on a collective bargaining agreement between Oklahoma City and the IAFF Local 157.

Officials say the heart of the issue was how much money could be saved at this time.

Firefighters agreed not to ask for an increase in wages and even offered a $400 cut to each member’s insurance plan, lower than any other city employee.

Still, city officials took issue with compensation for firefighters taking paid time off. Currently, they are paid time-and-a-half for vacations and other sick leave.

After an arbitration board chose the union’s offer, the city filed an appeal.

The council then chose to hold a special election, which would cost around $100,000, to allow voters to settle the case.

However, the council voted on Tuesday to accept the arbitrator’s decision and cancel the special election.