Battle between city and firefighters union heating up

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Voters may have to settle a fight between the city and the local firefighters union.

A special election has been requested to sort out the terms of the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

City officials tell NewsChannel 4 there are two main issues standing between the two sides.

Oklahoma City doesn't want to pay firefighters the overtime rate for their vacations and other paid time off -- something a city spokeswoman said has been happening for more than a decade.

The city also wants civilians to handle dispatch operations, a move to save about $600,000.

The city police department already employs non-uniformed civilians as dispatchers.

If implemented, the moves could save the city at least $1 million.

An arbitrator ruled against the City of Oklahoma City, but the council can make a final "appeal" by asking voters to weigh in.

An election would likely take place in early 2017.

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