Firefighter’s contract approved with no increase in 1st year

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City Council unanimously approved a three-year contract with the Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association Local 27 that included no wage increase for the first year at its June 28 meeting.

“We’re pleased to bring this contract to you. We’re pleased that it meets the mayor’s objective to negotiate contracts that are fair,” City business administrator Mike Dattilo said.

The FMBA contract expired Dec. 31, 2011, the same time as various other union contracts in the city, including the Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 61. Council approved a contract with the PBA at its April 26 meeting with no increase for the first year.

The contract is similar to the PBA contract, FMBA Local 27 President John Murphy said Wednesday afternoon.

Dattilo read the highlights of the contract aloud, noting that council had already been brief on the terms.

The contract will run retroactively from Jan. 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2014. There is what Dattilo called a “minor change” requiring additional notice for certain types of absences, which he said allows for better planning and staffing coverage.

The contract reduces the minimum amount of overtime that an employee is entitled to from four hours to two hours.

“So that is a savings to the city,” he said.

Terminal leave for new employees is capped at $7,500. Healthcare contributions are brought in line with current legislation.

While there is no wage increase for 2012, wages increase 1.5 percent for 2013 and 2 percent for 2014.

“That is identical to the PBA contracts, as well,” Dattilo said. “Another concession on the part of the bargaining unit for new hires is an additional three steps on the salary guide.”

Dattilo said that takes the amount of steps from seven to 10, but the maximum and starting salaries stay the same, spacing out pay increases.

New employees can receive longevity in their 10th year, but at a flat rate. It was previously allowed a six years, he said.

There is also an elimination of a stipend for CPR certification, which amounted to $832.

“We want to thank the FMBA, they negotiated in good faith with us,” Dattilo said, adding that they are good partners.

The FMBA met Tuesday evening and voted unanimously in favor of ratifying the contract.

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