New firefighters’ contract includes 2 percent salary increases

New firefighters’ contract includes 2 percent salary increases

WOONSOCKET – City councilors on Monday approved a new, three-year contract with the city’s firefighter union nearly a year after the previous contract expired in 2019.

The new contract includes 2 percent annual salary increases along with a 0.25 percent increase on the final day of the contract.

According to a fiscal impact statement by city Finance Director Christine Chamberland, the new terms are expected to result in a $1,377,531 cost increase to the city over the three-year life of the contract, most of that in salary increases.

The agreement between the city and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 732 is retroactive to July 1, 2019, and extends through June 30, 2022. Negotiations took place between the city and union leadership over the past year after the previous contract expired last June.

In addition to salary increases, the contract introduces new benefits intended to reduce the amount of overtime in the department. According to the impact statement, the new benefits are expected to reduce overtime costs by $76,314 and result in a net savings to the city of about $41,000.

Councilors initially expected to hold a public hearing on the new contract in March, but those plans were disrupted by COVID-19. With the council now meeting online, councilors held a virtual public hearing on June 9. The meeting adjourned after just five minutes with no members of the public speaking on the contract.

Comments

With all the economic devastation out there, they're still asking for raises. Public employee unions will, with time, run this city into the ground.

It almost went bankrupt after the Great Recession, sooner or later it's bound to happen.