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Pittsburgh Paramedics Eye Contract Talks

The head of the city’s paramedics union expects negotiations with the city to begin in earnest soon.

Anthony Weinmann, head of Pittsburgh Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics Local 1, said his union and city officials haven’t had any significant talks yet. The current five-year contract expires on Dec. 31.

“I can’t even report back anything to my guys, because I don’t have anything to report at this point,” Weinmann said.

The negotiations come at a time when the city is struggling to find money to boost its foundering pension funds.

City officials have warned that the city could face severe cutbacks in employment or services if it is forced to significantly increase its annual payment to the pension fund. The city is under Act 47, meaning the state is overseeing its finances.

Weinmann said the union, which represents 160 members, has negotiated one five-year contract under Act 47. He added that the union likely will seek another five-year contract.

The city’s proposed 2011 budgets contain nearly $9.7 million for emergency medical services salaries, and another $2.6 million for premium pay, which includes overtime.

City Public Safety Director Michael Huss said he does not comment on contract negotiations.