Elected leaders continue to grapple with shrinking budgets and are turning to public employees – including fire fighters — for savings.

Baltimore, Maryland fire unions and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake are at odds over the city’s proposal to require fire fighters to work longer hours.

The new proposal is for fire fighters to work 24 hour shifts for three days.

The mayor says the shift change would allow Baltimore to save $60 million over 10 years.  The mayor is pushing for the new shift in exchange for fire fighters to receive a pay raise and signing bonuses.

The plan would also see 156 fire fighter positions lost through attrition.

An arbitrator will hear the case either later this month or in early May.

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