TAMPA — Tampa faces a huge budget shortfall and possible staff reductions this year, but the City Council unanimously approved pay raises on Thursday of up to 6 percent for firefighters.
Biweekly bonuses of $30 for emergency medical technicians and $110 for paramedics also were approved. The contract will add $2.4 million to city expenses.
Only council member Charlie Miranda expressed qualms about the contract, saying the faltering economy has wreaked havoc on city finances.
"The government of yesterday is gone," Miranda said. "That's never going to come back."
Mayor Pam Iorio and the firefighters negotiated the agreement, which was a victory of sorts for Iorio. Last year, after nine months of argument, Iorio and the union hit a stalemate when she tried to limit raises. The battle ended up going to the council, which sided with the firefighters and approved raises of up to 9 percent.