Firefighters to get raises

Cary Ashby • May 30, 2019 at 9:00 PM

The tentative agreement between the city of Norwalk and local firefighters’ union calls for 2 1/2-percent pay raises.

New legislation on the proposed collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the city and the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local No. 1199 was addressed Tuesday during the council work session.

Council started the meeting with a 20-minute closed-door session to discuss, about the matter.

Law director Stuart O’Hara, after that executive session, told council that since contract negotiations started in September, “there were various logjams along the way,” but the teams recently came to a tentative agreement.

“It would be the same 2 1/2-percent as negotiated with the police department,” he said, referring to an annual pay increase.

Council, in February, approved the CBA with the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. It calls for a 2 1/2-percent increase annually for three years starting Jan. 1 of this year and runs through Dec. 31, 2021. Negotiations started in September or October.

The proposed CBA between Norwalk and IAFF Local No. 1199 will be effective from Jan. 1 of this year through Sept. 30, 2021, according to the agenda. Items listed and detailed in the agreement include such topics as hours and schedules, wage rights and compensation, the grievance procedure, mileage allowance, life insurance, on-duty injuries, civil, funeral military and sick leaves, vacation and physical fitness.

O’Hara, when asked about the firefighters’ contract negotiations, said the earliest the process can start is 90 days before the current contract expires. There was no other council discussion on the matter.

Also addressed during the work session was the proposed financial appropriation to do roof and gutter repairs at the Ernsthausen Community Center. The project is expected to cost slightly more than $43,000.

Joe Lindenberger, the parks and recreation superintendent, told council there are many areas in the Republic Street facility that “need work.” He also said it was time to do more than just patch the roof.

When asked about the life expectancy for the repairs, Lindenberger estimated it would last 10 to 15 years.

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