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Harrisburg fire union strikes deal, concerned about safety - abc27 WHTM

Harrisburg fire union strikes deal, concerned about safety

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Harrisburg's bravest are now "Harrisburg Strong." The city's fire union announced they agreed on a new contract to help move along Harrisburg's recovery plan.

Local 428 representative Bill Junkin said the fire union will no longer be the reason that holds up Harrisburg Strong, the city's court-approved recovery plan. Instead, Junkin said the union voted and passed a new deal that conceded more than asked by the receiver and his team.

The three year deal is expected to save the city $5.1 million over the duration of the contract according to Junkin. He said the average firefighter is giving up about $30,000 in benefits and wages. Junkin said that is about $20,000 more than what Harrisburg workers and police officers conceded in their respective contract agreements.

As of late Monday evening, a spokesman with Receiver William Lynch said the fire union had not yet reached out to Lynch about the deal. Lynch did tell abc27, "If that's true [about the contract agreement], then it tickles me to death."

The fire union was the final of Harrisburg's three union to strike a deal.

Junkin touted the union gave up about $500,000 more than what was asked by Receiver Lynch and his plan. He called the deal "fair" but turned around and pointed out the contract could cause manpower issues.

When asked if the deal could improve safety in any capacity, Junkin responded.

"Potentially. But probably it won't."

Junkin was pressed on protecting city residents. He was also asked if citizens have every reason to be safe as they feel today. Junkin's response raised many eyebrows.

"Well, they should change their belief then."

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