Monday, June 13, 2011 | 6:34 p.m.
The City of North Las Vegas began sending pink slips on Thursday to 40 city firefighters, which could lead to browning out certain fire stations and shutting down fire engines.
The 40 firefighter positions were slated for reduction in the fiscal 2012 budget approved May 17 by the City Council. The cash-strapped city could lay off more than 250 city employees as it tries to plug a $30.3 million budget shortfall next year.
In addition to the 40 firefighters, positions being considered for elimination include 154 Teamsters, 43 police officers, five Police Supervisors Association members, nine temporary employees and eight non-union employees.
The final number of layoffs could be reduced if city and union leaders agree on additional union concessions.
Jeff Hurley, the president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1607, said the city hasn't accepted firefighters’ concessions, which “equates to a 24 percent reduction in salary and benefits,” he said. The union is in its sixth round of concessions in two years, Hurley said.
“The city’s response was they were still going to lay off firefighters,” he said. “These are drastic numbers. Forty firefighters equates to over 25 percent of our emergency responders in North Las Vegas.”
Hurley said with these reductions, the city might have to close fire stations during certain hours and eliminate the use of certain fire engines. On any given day, the city has 58 firefighters working, he said.
On May 4, the city reached a tentative agreement with the firefighters' union to save the jobs of 33 firefighters in exchange for $4 million in the union’s fifth round of concessions. The 40 firefighter positions being eliminated this month are not part of the 33 firefighter positions saved as part of the agreement, Hurley said.