The St. Joseph Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 1670, is threatening to sue the city at the start of July over the implementation of public safety. The union's lawyer says in filing the lawsuit that the city does not have the authority to combine the police and fire departments. A letter from attorney Allison Paton to St. Joseph City Manager Frank Walsh says they will go to court to block what it calls "unilateral changes in conditions of employment." Walsh tells WSJM they are moving forward with implementing public safety on July 1. All three public safety unions representing the city's police officers and firefighters ratified new contracts that include the merged department earlier this year. Walsh says combining the departments will save the city just over two-thousand dollars per day. Fire fighter union attorneys have given Walsh a list of what it calls unresolved union issues including the length of the contract, wages, "bargaining unit erosion" and early retirement.
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