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Providence mayor implements firefighter staffing plan, union expected to contest it in court

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — The mayor's plan for staffing the Providence fire department is taking effect after failed negotiations with the union, which has said it will ask a court to block it on Monday.

Mayor Jorge Elorza's plan seeks to reduce overtime by increasing the average work week in exchange for an 8 percent pay raise that would count toward a firefighter's pension. After months of negotiations, Elorza said he would implement it Sunday if there was no deal by 5 p.m. Saturday.

The mayor's spokesman Evan England tells the Providence Journal that Elorza would rather have negotiated deal, but it didn't work out.

Union president Paul Doughty declined to comment to WJAR-TV after the deadline passed.

Elorza says his plan could save $5 million a year in overtime beginning in fiscal year 2017.

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