Fairfield, unions agree on new 3-year contracts

Fairfield City Council approved new contracts with two of its five labor unions. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

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Fairfield City Council approved new contracts with two of its five labor unions. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Two of Fairfield’s five collective bargaining units have new three-year deals, giving members a 2.5 percent merit-based raise for the first year of their contracts that retroactively begin on April 1.

Fairfield City Council approved Monday night the union contracts for the International Association of Firefighters Local 4010 and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 20. City Manager Mark Wendling said both contracts offer a re-opener in January 2018 for wages for its second and third years and negotiations for health benefits in the contract’s third year.

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The IAFF Local 4010 represents firefighter/paramedics and fire department lieutenants and captains. The IUOE Local 20 represents, among other positions operator maintenance workers, maintenance electricians, construction inspectors and engineers.

The IAFF union representative, Tom Wagner, said the negotiations for the firefighters’ contract “went pretty well.” Of the membership that voted on the contract, all voted “yes,” he said.

“Was it everything we wanted? No. But you’ve got to crawl before you walk,” Wagner said.

Wagner, a lieutenant within the fire department, said the wages “weren’t an overriding concern for us this year,” but wanted to address a few safety issues. He said safety issues, such as the training and qualifications and physical fitness requirements, were addressed in a memorandum of understanding that said the union and the city will continue to discuss the issues.

Wagner said the department will be in line with other unions on bonuses paid for retirement notification. The city will pay $750 to a retiring IAFF member who provides a three-month retirement notice, and $1,500 to a union member who gives six months’ notice.

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A representative for the IUOE union could not be reached before deadline.

There are 26 employees affected by the IAFF contract, which expires on March 31, 2020, and 23 employees affected by the IUOE contract, which expires on Feb. 29, 2020. The one-year wage increases for both unions include approximately a $100,000 fiscal impact, according to Assistant City Manager Greg Preece.

City officials are still in negotiations with three other bargaining units: two Fraternal Order of Police unions and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union.

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