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Baltimore, firefighters agree on 3-year contract

Baltimore and two unions representing fire department employees have reached agreement on a 3-year contract.

Members of the two unions voted approval of the contract on Tuesday. It calls for a 2 percent pay raise retroactive to July 1. It also calls for a 14.5 percent raise for fire suppression personnel on Jan. 1, 2014.

The contract also has a new shift structure. Firefighters will be on duty for 24 hours, off duty for the next 24 hours, and on duty for the subsequent 24 hours. Then, employees will remain off duty for five days. Every 32 days, an extra 24-hour shift will be scheduled during the middle of the 5-day down time.

This will result in a 12.5 percent increase in hours worked. The new shifts start Jan. 1.