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Arbitrator rules in favor of city fire unions

THE BALTIMORE SUN

An independent arbitrator ruled in favor of two fire unions yesterday morning in a five-month contract dispute with Baltimore over pay raises, promotional policies and health care contributions.

In the decision, the city's 1,650 officers, firefighters, operators and emergency medical personnel will receive a 3 percent pay raise and contribute more toward a monthly fee for prescription coverage.

"This is a major victory for the fire unions," said Stephan G. Fugate, president of the Fire Officers' Local 964, adding he expected city officials to challenge the award in court.

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