Mayor Lori Lightfoot has cut a one-year deal with the Chicago Firefighters Union that includes $95 million in back pay but would nearly double employee health care contributions.
One union official said rank-and-file members are “not happy” about the hike in health care costs, though the contract also maintains treasured union perks and outdated staffing requirements that cost taxpayers millions.
However, the mayor’s office said the higher health care contributions by employees would save taxpayers roughly $7 million a year. Active members will have to pay an additional 1.5% of their salaries towards health care costs. The deal also raises the salary cap for those contributions to $115,000.
Firefighters and paramedics would continue to be eligible for retiree health care at age 55.