Eleven members of the International Firefighters Association have filed a lawsuit against Salt Lake City, demanding wages they say are guaranteed to them by an agreement signed by the city last year.
The complaint, filed in 3rd District Court, says the city failed to abide by a contract, which in July called for monthly wage increases of $410 for first-year apprentice firefighters, giving them $1,862 monthly salaries.The firefighters are demanding the city abide by the apprentice agreements and are seeking lost wages since the time the contracts were breached, according to the suit.
But the city attorney's office, in a letter responding to the firefighters demands, said the city is not bound by the contracts because they were signed only by the fire department chief and have no binding effect on the administration.
Additionally, the Utah Constitution prohibits municipalities from being bound by contracts that span fiscal years if money is not available to fulfill the contracts, the letter said.
"It is recognized that the action may have resulted from the frustrations of a lean budget which cannot give salary increases to city employees," the letter added.