The Orange County Fire Authority and its 725 full-time firefighters may reach agreement today on a 2 1/2-year contract that includes a slight pay raise, ending a two-year impasse that led to a sickout and public picketing.
Firefighters have been working for 615 days without a formal contract with the authority, which was formed in 1995 from the county and 19 city fire departments. The authority provides fire and paramedic services for about 1 million Orange County residents.
Animosity between the union and the Fire Authority, which has imposed past contracts unilaterally, ignited in recent months, capped by a sickout by 100 firefighters and a demonstration by several hundred placard-toting firefighters at Anaheim Stadium on Labor Day.
Voting on the new contract began Monday and continues until 1 p.m. today. The Fire Authority has scheduled an emergency session tonight at 6:30 to consider ratifying the contract, if it is approved by union membership.