It is back to the negotiation table to discuss a pay raise for Lake Charles firefighters - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

It is back to the negotiation table to discuss a pay raise for Lake Charles firefighters

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It is a pay raise that has been in negotiations for a year and today the city and the firefighter's union have decided to keep trying.

Both sides agreed to meet with a federal mediator for a second time, after firefighters rejected the latest contract proposal.

"After discussions we have agreed to go ahead and have this meeting. We think it may be worthwhile and there is nothing to lose," said City Administrator John Cardone. 

This second round of negotiations with a federal mediator comes after firefighters voted down the last proposed contract 82-55.

"There are issues within there that people were very concerned about. They wanted to get everything clear and hashed out so that they could make a good decision," said Travis DeLano with the Firefighter's union.

Monday's meeting will give everyone the opportunity to once again voice any concerns and come up with a plan that appeals to both sides.  

"I think that we are all hopeful that we will be able to get everybody on the same line and that we can pass this contract through," said Travis DeLano.

If an agreement is not reached on Monday there may not be another chance to resolve this issue in a manner that pleases everyone. The Lake Charles City Council is ready to put these negotiations to an end.

"I am in full agreement with the meeting on Monday, but I am here to say that after Monday we are going to take final action on what is on the table. That is the bottom line," said Lake Charles city councilman, Rodney Geyen. 

The proposal that is currently on the table is an eight percent raise for Lake Charles firefighters, putting their starting salary at $26,208. 

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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