Hanford firefighters take their contract fight to the city council

Hanford firefighters take their contract fight to the city council

HANFORD, Calif. - Firefighters are taking their fight to the city council to try and get a new contract. 

They've been working without one for a year and half, and it comes on a night when the city council was slated to vote on whether to give the city's fire chief, police chief and other administrators a 2.5% raise. 

The council pushed back the vote on the pay raise. 

Hanford firefighters packed the city council chamber Tuesday night. A handful of them spoke during public comment. 

They say they're getting paid less than other cities like Fresno and Clovis, as about 30 to 40%, and they are not even asking for a raise. 

The firefighters said they've been working short handed and have encountered dangerous situations. They say they have two firefighter vacancies that have not yet been filled.

"That's one of the things that upsets us, all of the city departments are hiring for their vacancies, yet our 2 positions have been vacant for some time," said Hanford Firefighter, Dustin Costa.

"And, now there's a vote to give management a salary increase," said Hanford Firefighter, Derek Weisser.

"Since negotiations began, we've had four firefighters leave us for other departments," Hanford Firefighter, Gabe Martinez said.

We've left messages with the mayor and are still waiting to hear back. 

The city manager said he couldn't discuss contract negotiations.

During the meeting, the fire chief said he has made two conditional offers to fill the firefighter vacancies.

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