Chicago firefighter contract upgrades ambulances
The five-year deal gives Chicago medics and firefighters an 11 percent raise plus back pay
By Fran Spielman
CHICAGO — Chicago will get a dramatic upgrade in ambulance care — and firefighters will get $32 million in back pay — under a five-year contract approved Wednesday that opens the door to even higher pay raises.
The agreement ratified by the City Council guarantees 4,645 firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians an 11 percent pay raise over five years, but ends free health care for those who retire between the ages of 55 and 65. After Dec. 31, those retirees will be forced to contribute 2 percent of their annuities toward the cost of their health insurance until they're eligible for Medicare.
All 15 of Chicago’s basic-life-support ambulances will be converted to advanced-life-support, giving Chicago 75 ambulances capable of administering the most sophisticated level of care.