Hundreds rally for Boston firefighters raise

June 2, 2010

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BOSTON—Hundreds of firefighters and their supporters gathered outside Boston City Hall to urge city councilors to approve a controversial 19 percent pay raise awarded to city firefighters by an arbitrator.

The crowd rallied on Wednesday as councilors held a hearing to discuss the financial impact the award.

Several speakers blasted Boston Mayor Thomas Menino for fighting the award.

Council President Michael Ross has said the award could be rejected if the firefighters union doesn't make concessions to lower the estimated $74 million cost of the raises.

Arbitrator Dana Edward Eischen wrote in his decision that the 19 percent raise over four years was warranted in exchange for a mandatory drug and alcohol testing policy for firefighters.

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