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Archive for Monday, February 5, 1990

LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS TO DECIDE NEXT STEP IN FIGHT OVER WORK PACT

February 5, 1990

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Lawrence firefighters will meet this week to discuss a Douglas County district judge's decision against them in a suit against the city.

Bob Kent, a firefighter spokesman, said members of International Association of Firefighters Local 1596 will meet Wednesday night to mull over their legal options.

District Judge Ralph M. King, in an opinion issued last Monday, said the Lawrence City Commission acted lawfully in implementing a two-year "memorandum of understanding" for 1990 and 1991. King also said that if the firefighters want binding, negotiated contracts, they must persuade the city to come under the Kansas Public Employer-Employee Relations Act.

The firefighters contended that the two-year agreement, which was drawn up by city staff and not agreed to by the firefighters, violated the Kansas Cash Basis Law. The law prohibits, with few exceptions, governing bodies from budgeting funds for more than one year at a time. The city's work agreement with the firefighters, which included a 4 percent salary increase for 1990, went into effect Jan. 1. The agreement also gives firefighters a 3 percent salary raise in 1991.

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