The city’s fire union president will meet with Oklahoma City Manager Jim Couch today about the ongoing work contract dispute between the city and its firefighters.
The meeting comes after Couch wrote fire union president Phil Sipe last week to tentatively accept an offer Sipe mentioned in a story in The Oklahoman days earlier. Sipe confirmed the meeting Thursday. Couch declined to comment, citing ongoing negotiations, city spokeswoman Kristy Yager said.
Election set over raiseNegotiations between the city and International Association of Firefighters Local 157 concerning next year’s firefighter work contract stalled this summer. Arbitrators later gave the firefighters the 1 percent raise they sought. City officials have said they cannot afford such a raise. In response, city council members set a Feb. 9 election in which voters will decide whether the firefighters should get a raise. City employees did not get raises this year. Both sides said they are trying to avoid the election and hope to reach an agreement beforehand.
‘Me too’ acceptableToday’s meeting is the result of a blunt letter Couch sent Sipe last week that said council members are willing to accept an offer Sipe described in a story in The Oklahoman, which Couch attached to the letter. In the story, Sipe said the union had agreed to forgo raises for city firefighters this year and roll over last year’s contract if a "me too” clause was included. Ongoing coverage: Burning through money