The Sacramento city firefighters union has gone public with its frustration over contract talks that are at a near impasse.
The contract expired eight months ago and the union says the city wants to eliminate or reduce health care and benefits for current and retired firefighters.
“It’s disheartening, that’s really what it is,” said union spokesperson Roberto Padilla.
The city’s firefighters say they are being treated unfairly because the city wants retired firefighters to begin paying for health benefits, which include mental health care.
They have cited studies showing that health problems crop up often after firefighters retire and before their Medicare benefits kick in.
Padilla said the union was one of the first to offer concessions to the city during the Great Recession when the city budget was in the red. It agreed to have members pay more into their pension plan and left contract items on the table to save the city money.