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Prop A passes, giving firefighters more leverage

Monday, May 3, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

If a unifying issue still exists in this polarized age, it might be support for firefighters. More voters got behind Proposition A, which amends the City Charter to allow the local firefighters union to initiate a binding arbitration in negotiations with the city, than any other ballot measure this election cycle. According to preliminary results, 81 percent (124,215 people) voted in favor with just 19 percent (29,089 people) against. Ever since voters approved collective bargaining for firefighters in 2004, wage and benefits negotiations with the city have proven unsuccessful, with discussion between the two sides often reaching an impasse. The only agreement, a modest wage increase, the union still deemed unfair. Though the union called for binding arbitration during these talks, the city always rebuffed the demand. With the passage of Prop A, firefighters can force the city to sit down with an arbitrator, meaning no one leaves the table until an agreement has been reached.

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