The Boston firefighters union has ratified a $27.35 million settlement with the town that features a roughly 10.6% bump in pay over a three-year interval.
The contract was ratified by union membership final Friday. The two sides reached a tentative settlement two weeks in the past, successfully avoiding arbitration after months of failed negotiations.
“We are pleased to announce the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement focused on the needs of Boston’s communities and the dedicated firefighters who are always on call to keep our city safe,” Mayor Michelle Wu and Boston Firefighters Local 718 President Sam Dillon mentioned in a joint assertion.
“This agreement reflects our shared commitment to delivering the exceptional city services that make Boston the best place to live, work and raise a family. We look forward to presenting this agreement to the City Council for approval.”
A Wu spokesperson mentioned the $27.35 million price of the contract has been filed as a supplemental fiscal 12 months 2024 funds appropriation for the Wednesday City Council assembly.
As a part of that price, firefighters will obtain retroactive pay will increase of three% apiece for fiscal years 2022 and 2023, and a 2.5% increase for fiscal 12 months 2024, which started on July 1, 2023.
The contract extends from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024, which means that the 2 sides will probably be again on the bargaining desk this spring, a metropolis official advised the Herald.
It additionally features a 1.5% enhance for hazardous responsibility compensation, which solely covers the present fiscal 12 months, and a nighttime paid element bump of $8.
For the latter, which incorporates nightclub and movie show oversight, the increase is the primary in “quite some time.” It is supposed to incentivize work that had grown unappealing as a result of low compensation, the town official mentioned.
According to a supply aware of the negotiations, the town had aggressively pursued extra compensation for the 150 firefighters who work within the hearth division headquarters. That stipend hasn’t been raised since 2001, however the two sides couldn’t attain an settlement on that exact challenge.
The lack of incentive creates a “revolving door effect” at headquarters, the “nerve center” of BFD, the place heavy-duty planning and “hardcore” administration takes place, the supply mentioned.
“We’ve got an organizational problem that folks go to headquarters and they can make much more money working in a firehouse,” the supply mentioned. “They’re going to have an easier life working in a firehouse.”
The new contract “compares favorably” to the 2 prior agreements, 2017-18 and 2018-21, the official mentioned. It is arguably extra union-friendly, provided that there aren’t any givebacks, a time period for concessions made by a labor union.
The Wu administration plans to pursue hearth division reform in future collective bargaining agreements, the official mentioned.
“It’s basically a cash deal, where we wanted to get everybody caught up from 2021,” the town official mentioned. “This was really a catch-up deal to get people paid.”
The firefighters union filed for arbitration in April. The Joint Labor-Management Committee, which assists in resolving collective bargaining disputes involving municipalities and their cops and firefighters, had taken jurisdiction, however the two sides have been capable of keep away from mediation.
The metropolis and its largest police union, nevertheless, are in arbitration.