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Report: Perks Jack Up Firefighters’ Average Salaries To $104,000 A Year

Chicago Fire Department

(Credit: CBS)

tafoya250 Bernie Tafoya
I’m a lifelong Chicagoan and could never see myself living anywhere...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — A report out Friday morning indicates extra pay perks in the Chicago firefighters’ contract cost taxpayers more than $80 million last year.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the firefighters’ five-year contract with the city expires next week, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been trying in negotiations to tinker with perks that a Sun-Times analysis says boosts the average salary by $15,000 per year.

The city’s Web site suggests the average salary for rank-and-file and higher-ups in the Fire Department is $87,000 a year. But adding in the extra pay firefighters receive for such qualifications as being certified divers or being trained to handle hazardous materials, that average jumps to $104,000, the Sun-Times reported.

The Emanuel administration is targeting the firefighters’ perks for elimination, but Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 says it will fight to keep them, the Sun-Times reported.

Ald. Nicholas Sposato (36th), himself a former firefighter, tells the Sun-Times than an incentive is needed for people who are risking their lives.

Sposato said his brother, Fire Lt. Lenny Sposato makes $115,490.31 per year, while he himself makes only $110,000 a year as an alderman, the Sun-Times reported. But Sposato said his brother deserves a higher income than an alderman, the newspaper reported.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports