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Dolton firefighters raise concerns over benefits, retirement funds – NBC Chicago

Firefighters in south suburban Dolton are raising concerns over where money they put in for their retirement, union dues and health care benefits went.

“Members are getting their claims denied, we did file a grievance over that as well,” firefighter Adam Farej said. “When the mayor first started to run, we did endorse her, then everything went sideways.”

The International Association of Firefighters Local 3766 claims that money taken out of their members’ checks for a retirement plan has not gone where it should.

“We pick the amount that we would like out of check, and that money is supposed to go to Nationwide, but that is not been happening,” Farej said. “It has been going on for more than six months. We did file a grievance over it and [it] has gone to the courts as well, but we still get no answers. Some people are not putting money into it because of the situation.”

According to union officials, firefighters are also having issues with their health insurance, which is paid for by the village.

Documents obtained by NBC Chicago show that premiums have not been received.

The difficulties come as firefighters in Dolton have been working without a contract for nearly five years, as union members have said the village has refused to negotiate.

“It is very sad. For the last three years, [we] have been questioning how money is being spent, fighting for transparency so we can have the answers to these financial questions,” Village Trustee Brittney Norwood said.

Farej said many of the department’s 21 firefighters are afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation.

“We love this place, we just wish the upper administration could get it together and do the right thing for us and the people who live here.”

The Village of Dolton offered the following statement to NBC Chicago:

“The Village of Dolton Administration is committed to resolving Collective Bargaining Concerns with the Dolton Fire Department Union leadership. We are aware of the several concerns that have been raised concerning health insurance premium payments and the shortage of the 457 deferred compensation payments. We are committed and working tirelessly to remedy the challenges that we share as a village to attempt to make the bargaining members whole again.”

Read More: Dolton firefighters raise concerns over benefits, retirement funds – NBC Chicago

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