Nearly three years after their last contract expired, firefighters have a new one, thanks to a unanimous vote of the Board of Alders.
The lawmakers voted Wednesday night to approve a deal struck between the firefighters union and the city. The contract includes pay raises as well as changes to pension and health care benefits.
The new contract, covering the period from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2016, is expected to save the city $2.3 million.
Alders approved the contract without discussion.
Firefighters won’t get retroactive pay raises, but will see three raises by 2015, of 2.5 or 3 percent each. They will switch from conventional health care plans to health savings accounts, a first for a city union, as City Hall seeks to rein in long-term labor costs. Health and pension givebacks will save the city an estimated $2.25 million a year, officials estimated.
Click here for full details, including changes to pensions, clothing allowances, holiday pay, and mandatory staffing levels. The union rank and file approved the contract by a 5-1 vote.