Union Proposes Consolidation of NLV Fire Services | News
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - With layoffs looming, the City of North Las Vegas and unions representing first responders are in a public battle over concessions. The firefighters called for a major move that could forever change the city's fire service.
The union wants to consolidate with another fire department. Under this scenario, the North Las Vegas Fire Department could merge with Las Vegas Fire and Rescue or Clark County. North Las Vegas Firefighters Local 1607 President Jeff Hurley says public safety is in peril.
"There has to be a different way of doing business in North Las Vegas. We cannot continue to keep doing this and have these kinds of reductions in the fire department and think we're going to be able to serve our citizens," he said.
The North Las Vegas firefighters union says the city is bullying the firefighters - threatening to lay off one-third of the fire department or 57 positions.
The city tells a different story. City officials say unions are serving their self interest first and the community second. North Las Vegas City Manager Timothy Hacker says they've put forward a very fair plan that would save the city money, avoid layoffs, and maintain service level.
The idea of consolidating the fire department is in its early stages.
"I think some kind of shared service arrangement is more likely than a consolidation," Hacker said. "We continue to meet with the unions. We hope that there will be some concessionary agreements forthcoming."
The city faces a $33 million budget shortfall that must be fixed before June 1. The union says it has made eight rounds of concessions that exceeded $20 million in talks with the city during the past four years.
At this point, firefighters say they'll give up cost-of-living adjustments, merit pay, holiday pay, and a uniform allowance for two years if the city consolidates with another fire department.
The city says union leaders are forcing the city to consider massive layoffs.