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County officials vote 5-0 to declare impasse in Kern County Firefighters negotiations

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Posted at 10:45 AM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 15:26:03-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — On Tuesday, elected officials voted 5-0 to declare an "impasse" in negotiations with the Kern County Firefighters after failing to agree on how to cut overtime spending.

The county administrative office had formally requested a declaration of an "impasse" from the Board of Supervisors concerning the most recent round of negotiations for a two year collective bargaining agreement for Kern County Firefighters.

Before Tuesday's voting process began, Kern County Firefighters posted to Facebook stating that the organization is taking a stand to preserve their fair pay and working conditions.

Earlier this month, the Kern County Firefighters Union voted down the county's offer. On May 9, the county had specifically asked the union to implement recommendations to reduce overtime spending by at least $3.4 million annually.

According to the county, the fire department's 2019-20 budget will require at least $6.5 million contribution from the County's general fund reserves to pay for employee pension cost increases. However, the county's fire fund deficit is projected to grow to nearly $9 million next fiscal year.