The local union representing Omaha firefighters filed suit on Dec. 22 with the state labor court to protect its right to pay raises in 2010. The court is also considering a similar suit regarding pay raises for 2009. Last fall, Mayor Jim Suttle and the Omaha Firefighters Local 385 agreed in principal to pay freezes in 2009 and 2010. But a final contract has not been drafted as both sides continue to negotiate over other items in the deal. The firefighters have been without a new contract in place since 2007, which allows the state labor court to determine raises based on comparable cities. Suttle urged the City Council to approve the deal, saying the wage freezes would save the city up to $4.5 million versus the $10 to $14 million the city could owe if the court rules in favor of the raises.


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