The Evanston firefighters union and the city have agreed to resume bargaining on a new contract, with a negotiating session now scheduled for Aug. 20.

The union, which had planned a rally for Monday at Fire Station #3, where a ladder truck has been parked out of service because of layoffs, announced this afternoon that it’s calling off that event “as a gesture of good faith” ahead of the resumption of talks.

The city had sent a letter to the union’s attorney protesting the local’s decision to “negotiate in public” with a series of news releases and media events, despite having asked late last month to resume talks.

The union previously had demanded arbitration over its claim of a right to control staffing levels, and each side recently filed unfair labor practice charges against the other.

The firefighters local president, Brian Scott, says the union plans to offer totally new options to meet the city’s economic concerns at the Aug. 20 session.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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