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Elorza says 'greed' is motivating Providence firefighters

Mayor Jorge Elorza has had enough of firefighters and their overtime.

Mayor Jorge Elorza has had enough of firefighters and their overtime.

"This has been a gravy train for them for a very long time, and we're putting a stop to it," Elorza said on 10 News Conference.

The mayor imposed a schedule change on the force, and they responded with a lawsuit. Elorza points to a particular firefighter rescue captain who made $116,632 in overtime alone last year, boosting his pay to $198,561.

Union President Paul Doughty responded to the mayor's charge by saying the reason for the overtime is because "the firefighting staff is down 25 percent." He said if the mayor would fill the vacancies, the overtime charges would come down.

Elorza declares that the firefighters' battle against his shift change "is just greed at this point." Doughty responded with, "He is a flat out liar."

The case is wending its way through the court system, and Elorza believes it won't be settled for a year and a half. Doughty suggests the union will win, based on the first court decision, which sent the dispute to arbitration. And he thinks the victory will cost the city more than $9 million to repay firefighters who are working straight time on hours above their standard work week.

Elorza said he's confident he will win in court.

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