Evanston aldermen are scheduled to approve modifications to the city’s contract with the International Association of Fire Fighters Tuesday that will postpone raises in return for a no-layoff guarantee.

The agreement was reached as part of efforts to deal with the multi-million dollar revenue shortfall the city is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It calls for the firefighters to forgo scheduled 2.25% raises on Jan. 1, 2021, and on Jan. 1, 2022, but instead receive a 5% wage increase on Dec. 31, 2022, the last day of the current contract.

In return, the city agrees to maintain the current minimum staffing level of 26 firefighters per shift, rescind the layoffs of three firefighters that had been imposed late last month and to not impose any additional layoffs for the duration of the contract.

Under the deal firefighter/paramedics will receive annual salaries starting Dec. 31, 2022, that range from $62,477.63 to $110,425.74 depending on their level of experience.

Earlier this year AFSCME-represented employees of the city agreed to take 10 unpaid furlough days as a cost-cutting measure.

The city reportedly is still negotiating with the union representing police officers about possible cost reductions.

This week’s City Council meeting was moved from Monday to Tuesday because of the Yom Kippur holiday.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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