Providence Firefighters Ok Settlement On Pension Freeze

PROVIDENE, RI &#8211 The Providence firefighters union has approved a proposed settlement over a pension freeze and health benefit changes that resolves two lawsuits against the city.

The agreement provides for a suspension of cost-of-living adjustments for 10 years and requires members to enroll in Medicare at age 65. It was approved Wednesday, 70 percent to 30 percent, in a secret ballot vote.

Union President Paul Doughty says the agreement ‘‘is by no means a victory’’ but noted the alternative was a prolonged legal battle with an uncertain outcome.

The proposed settlement provides for separate agreements with city retirees, who have accepted it, and the police union, which hasn’t voted.

Mayor Angel Taveras (tuh-VEHR’-us) said he appreciates firefighters’ willingness to make ‘‘shared sacrifices.’’ He said he hopes the police also approve the settlement.

From The Boston Globe