- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 9, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Days after firefighters urged Providence City Council to oppose Mayor Jorge Elorza’s plan to restructure the fire department, Elorza says they should be paid more in return for reduced platoons per shift.

Elorza told reporters Monday he is negotiating to restructure the fire department from four platoons per shift to three to help reduce a projected $13.5 million deficit in 2017.

He said the fire department accounts for $9 million in overtime annually with some firefighters earning more than $100,000 in overtime.

He proposes reducing the number of platoons, adding 33 on-call firefighters and increasing each work week by 14 hours.

Critics of the plan say reducing the number of platoons is unfair and firefighters working longer hours should not be shortchanged in their pay.

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