The City and the Firefighters’ Union Local 143 have come to terms on a new contract that goes back two years to Fiscal Year 2016.
“It’s finally concluded,” said President Craig Hardy. “Both sides agree it’s a fair deal. We all agree it’s good that it’s finally over…The membership ratified it overwhelmingly. It was a solid ratification with very little opposition. The membership seems to be satisfied and it’s a fair deal.”
Mayor Carlo DeMaria thanked the Union’s negotiating team for working hard to resolve the contracts.
“Our firefighters put their lives on the line every day to protect our residents and their property,” said the mayor. “I want to thank them for their service. I also want to acknowledge their negotiating team for their professionalism, mindfulness of other department’s needs, and the financial status of the city.”
The firefighters got 2 percent pay increases onto their base salaries over the two fiscal years within the contract, which was the major sticking point in getting the agreement sealed.
On Monday night, the City Council approved the funding for the contract, with $620,000 for last year and $275,000 for the previous year. The current negotiated contract will run out on June 30, 2018 – leaving little time to sit on the sidelines.
Hardy said they would likely start negotiating on the next contract in about six months.
Part of the reason for the time lapse, Hardy said, was a hiccup in the negotiations, but that was straightened out by diligent work from Mayor Carlo DeMaria and the negotiating team.
“There was a slight hiccup, which was a miscommunication between both sides,” he said. “That was a bump in the road, but we were able to work it out and move forward…The City and the negotiating team worked hard on it. The mayor sat in the room with us and it probably wouldn’t have gotten done without him there. That was a big factor.”
The negotiating team for the Union included Vice President Dana Sears, Secretary/Treasurer Sean Hogan, and Executive Board member Kevin Leary.
Hardy said that team was “instrumental” in getting things worked out smoothly last month.