Muskegon firefighters move closer to agreement with city

Posted at 1:32 PM, Sep 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-21 13:32:54-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. – A long dispute between the City of Muskegon and its firefighters union may be coming to an end.

The city looks like it will be keeping the Muskegon Fire Department intact instead of dissolving the department as planned.  City leaders had been in talks for more than a year to combine it with the Muskegon Heights Fire Department, after firefighters voiced concerns over budget cuts, the rising number of calls and fewer employees.

The head of the Muskegon Firefighters Union, Chris Drake, tells FOX 17 they haven’t reached an official agreement yet. He issued this statement:”We’ve had some amicable discussions and are moving forward towards an agreement. Right now it’s in the hands of our attorneys. While we may agree on things, there may be certain aspects we cant foresee. So we just want to make sure everyone is protected here, that everyone is good. Once we get that ironed out, we’ll hopefully reach a tentative agreement and be able to vote on it as a union and present a ratification if that’s the case. If we ratify it as a union, we will then present it back to the city and move forward. This might move in to November. So we haven’t reached an agreement yet but are certainly making strides.”

Drake also says the city plans to post job openings for 13 new firefighters.

An official vote on a new agreement could happen as soon as November.