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City Of Ketchum, Firefighters Union Mutually Concerned About Contract

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By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The city of Ketchum and their firefighters union agreed on the terms for a contract just two weeks ago. While things are mostly settled for now, a related case is still pending in the Supreme Court.

Three and half years ago, all the full time firefighters in Ketchum formed a union. In fall of 2011, they went to District Court, and won their case. Last summer they went back into negotiations with the city of Ketchum, and reached a tentative contract agreement last fall.

Ketchum Fire Fighters Local 4758 and the city of Ketchum are looking toward their mutual future with both hope and concern.

Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall says, "We negotiated, we came to an impasse. Then the law says that you have to go to mediation, and that's where the law failed us. After mediation had failed, there was no clear pathway to go beyond that."

Seth Martin, Secretary/Treasurer with Firefighters Local 4758, says, "The big question that we have now is since we have an agreement that both parties have agreed to with the city and the union, we still question why the city wants to appeal this to the Supreme Court and spend taxpayers' money on another lengthy legal battle."

Hall says both sides finally gave a little bit when it came to talking about "at-will" and "for cause" when it came to employment. Martin pointed out when the elected officials got involved, they got a lot of things ironed out.

Hall says says, "It felt at times unfair, just of the thought of giving one department or certain group of employees something more than the other employees were able to get."

Martin says, "We hope to work closely with the city, and make all the changes that the contract dictates, work a lot closer and have a lot more friendly work environment."

Mar. 4, 2013.


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