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Firemen vote to join union

There were no surprises on Tuesday as Richmond firefighters voted unanimously to join the International Association of Firefighters Local 3133 out of Blue Springs, according to Fire Chief Lonnie Quick.
Quick said the results will be certified with the state and the city should receive notice by letter in about 10 days.
Quick said the firemen will meet with Local 3133 and then a representative of the Richmond firemen will submit a contract proposal to the city.
Quick said he, along with Mayor Lance Green and City Administrator Rick Childers, will negotiate the contract with the firemen before proceeding to the council for approval.
Last week Local 3133 Vice President Sam Purcell addressed the city council and answered questions but some questions were still left unanswered after the vote. Several times councilmen asked Purcell why the firemen were seeking out a union to negotiate a contract.
Purcell did say that firemen were concerned about keeping a staff of nine full time firemen.
The last time the fire department operated with less than nine firemen was the 2005-06 budget year when the department had seven firemen including Quick and Assistant Fire Chief Mark Sowder according to city payroll figures.

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