Negotiation meeting held for South Bend firefighters

NOW: Negotiation meeting held for South Bend firefighters

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A meeting on Monday between the City of South Bend and the South Bend Fire Department ended with an offer to raise the wage of firefighters by an amount that would be less than the city's standard increase.

The department argues that the 2.25 percent wage increase proposed by the city is not large enough to sustain any sort of financial edge over other fire departments when it comes to maintaining current and recruiting new firefighters.

Negotiations have seemingly stalled out between the department and the city, leaving the current raise in place to make the minimum wage $15 for South Bend firefighters.

The department also intended for these raises to carry on for the following three years. However, the bill for this motion has only been amended by the city for 2022.

“This is my third negotiation with the city, and this has been by far the most frustrating one yet. We’re not asking for the world. We’re trying to remain on the same, equal and level footing as our other public safety entity in the city. With what’s currently proposed, we would be well over $5,000 behind them,” said Ryan Takacs of the South Bend Fire Department.

The department says they will keep working and continue to negotiate with the city to solidify a more favorable deal.

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