Faced with increasing overtime costs, city officials in Portland, Maine have secured a significant concession from the firefighters' union. The Portland Press-Herald reports that the city will be asked to approve a new contract with firefighters that will fill vacant positions and cut overtime.
Officials say that the nearly 31 percent overtime increase in the past two years is primarily the result of a hiring freeze that kept vacant positions unfilled and required employees to take on more hours. Combine that with minimum staffing requirements and the resulting short-staffed units always lead to excessive overtime.
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