Franklin, firefighters approve new contract

5:12 p.m Wednesday, July 27, 2016 Local News

Franklin’s full-time firefighters union has approved a tentative agreement for a new three-year contract with the city.

A motion to authorize the city manager to sign it will be on Monday’s City Council agenda, said Law Director Donnette Fisher. Council unanimously approved a tentative agreement at its July 18 meeting, and the union unanimously approved this week.

The new contract with the International Association of Firefighters Local 3742 will cover 2016, 2017 and 2018, she said.

Among the provisions of the new contract is a new expanded step system for compensation for fire captains, lieutenants and firefighters, as well as including for new positions in the future that will include firefighter/paramedic and firefighter/EMT, Fisher said.

Currently there are three steps for captains, and four steps each for lieutenants and firefighters. In the newly created step system, captains will have four steps while lieutenants, firefighters, and the new firefighter/paramedics and firefighter/EMTs will have eight steps.

Fisher said there are four full-time employees but the city expects to hire two to three new firefighters as retirements occur.

In 2017 and 2018, there will be 2 percent pay increases in each year, she said.

Other provisions include that new firefighters must be certified as a paramedic if they are seeking promotion to lieutenant; an added overtime provision if a mandated 12 hours off if a firefighter works two 24-hour shifts in a row; and a lower sick time accrual rate for new hires which will be 24 hours a month, down from the current 29 hours a month.

Firefighters also agreed to an increase their share of their insurance contributions, which is currently 13.5 percent. That will increase to 14 percent for 2016; 14.5 percent in 2017; and 15 percent in 2018.

The fire union president could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

“I think it’s a good contract and a win-win for both parties,” said City Manager Sonny Lewis. “It’s something we’ve been working on for some time.”