Strongsville, Firefighters Reach Contract Agreement
Deal calls for 7 percent raises over three years
Strongsville firefighters and the city have reached a deal on a new contract.
The agreement, approved by City Council Tuesday night, calls for firemedics to receive a 3 percent raise this year, followed by 2 percent hikes in 2014 and 2015.
It's the same 7 percent over three years that employees in two other bargaining groups -- the Service Department workers and building inspectors -- already reached, but the firefighters will be taking the raises in slightly different increments.
The two groups represented by the Teamsters are receiving increases of 2.25 percent this year, 2.5 percent next year and 2.25 the following year.
Human Resources Director Steve Kilo said the firefighters wanted the larger increase this year because contributions to their state retirement plan will increase this July.
"This helps them offset that a little bit," Kilo said.
A settlement with the union representing police officers is expected very soon, he added.
Negotiations can't start until the transfer is finalized, Kilo said.
In addition, he said the jail's corrections officers are in the process of unionizing, so talks will start after that is done.
Mayor Tom Perciak said he was grateful to the unions for understanding the need to make changes in health care and for agreeing to employee participation in the city's two-year-old wellness program.
As is customary, council awarded the same pay increase this year to non-union city employees -- other than themselves -- when approving the deals with the Teamsters Jan. 7.
Raises for council members were removed from the legislation just before voting on it.
"We're still not out of the woods financially," Council President Mike Daymut said. "We just thought it was the right thing to do."