It's about time that the City of Providence and its firefighters union settled their longstanding contract dispute. Terms of the agreement, which was assisted by an arbitrator, call for retroactive pay raises to cover past years and, for the very first time, healthcare contributions from the firefighters. Imagine, here it is 2010 and Providence firefighters have not yet contributed to the cost of their "cadillac" plans. Firefighters will need those retroactive pay raises because the agreement also calls for the firefighters to pay back that portion of their healthcare contribution retroactively.
Now the question is, will the members approve this agreement and, if so, can the cash strapped capital city afford it?