Omaha Sends Layoff Notices to 19 Firefighters

OMAHA-FIRE-AND-RESCUE-BADGE(AP) — Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert says the city is sending layoff notices to 19 firefighters in an effort to cuts costs.

Stothert says in a news release Monday the layoffs are needed because the fire department is $6.2 million over its 2013 budget. She says the cuts could be avoided if the firefighters union agrees to change its contract.

The layoffs would be of probationary firefighters and would be effective Jan. 4.

Stothert says the city won’t lay off firefighters if the union reduces the 2014 paramedic training class from 48 to 12 members. The no-layoff pledge would continue through 2015 if the department stays within its 2014 budget.

Fire union president Steve LeClair says the union is considering Stothert’s proposal but needs assurances about future staffing.