- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Providence City Council and the firefighters’ union have approved a five-year contract, resolving a dispute over staffing and work schedules.

The new contract agreed upon on Thursday runs from 2017 through 2022 and will restore the department’s four-shift schedule. Officials say the work week change will take effect on Sunday. Firefighters have operated on a three-shift work week since August 2015.

The contract also reduces the minimum number of firefighters required on a shift from 94 to 88.

The union and Mayor Jorge Elorza have been at odds over schedules and the minimum number of firefighters required per shift. Thursday’s deal was discussed during mediation sessions and was reviewed by the council’s finance committee.

Elorza’s administration projects $20 million in savings during the term of the contract.

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