A shorthanded City Council met again this afternoon to see if it could reach an agreement with Mayor Jerry Sanders over a contract proposal for City Firefighters Local 145. The meeting ended with no resolution, and talks are expected to resume April 24.

The mayor wants to freeze the firefighters’ wages and overhaul their health plan to resemble the streamlined benefits the Police Officers Association agreed to along with their raise.

Some council members, however, have expressed interest in boosting the pay for firefighters. Additionally, Councilman Tony Young said he was considering opposing Sanders’ strategy for healthcare.

Because of the standoff, the city will miss a legal deadline, City Attorney Mike Aguirre said. The city attorney said the yearly legislation that enacts the government’s various labor agreements is required to be passed this week. But that legislation, known as the salary ordinance, depends on deals that are forged beforehand, and the firefighters’ union’s contract remains unfinished.

Some council members said they felt hamstrung by the absence of several of their colleagues. Councilman Kevin Faulconer was away on a family vacation this week, Councilman Jim Madaffer is representing a Sandag committee in Mexico, and Councilman Brian Maienschein said he felt ill at last night’s meeting and didn’t show up today.

“It will be helpful if, on April 24, all members of City Council made an attempt to be there,” Councilwoman Donna Frye said.


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