As city leaders continue to grapple with how to balance budgets, a few are eyeing changes to fire fighters’ schedules as a way to make up revenue.
In Pennsylvania, it has been reported that two mayors – in Harrisburg and Lancaster – are considering shifting schedules where fire fighters are on 24 hours and have 48 hours off.
Currently, fire fighters work two day shifts and two night shifts that are followed by four days off.
A consulting company recommended the changes to increase city efficiency and to lower costs.
In Harrisburg, fire fighters are battling the mayor over budget cuts. Last week, 10 fire fighters received layoff notices.
The mayor of Lancaster has reportedly tried for the past year to get fire fighters to accept the 24-hour shift schedule. The shift would help the city save at least $400,000, the mayor said.
New president of Lancaster Local 319 Tim Erb told Lancaster Online that fire fighters could be persuaded to approve the 24-hour staffing change under the right circumstances.
He said those circumstances would have to include fire fighters being compensated for the additional hours. He also said fire fighters would change to the 24/48 hour schedule if they could have a 45-hour work week and a four percent increase in longevity payments.
Will it work? What are the pros/cons of the scheduling shift? How many other IAFF locals have had a similar experience?