Ann Arbor City Council to vote on firefighter contract on Tuesday
The Ann Arbor City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution to accept the terms of a new contract with the firefighters union.
The one-year contract - retroactive to July 1, 2009 - runs through June 30 and reduces fire labor costs and protects public safety priorities, city officials said in a press release today.
The city's bargaining committee is expected to continue to negotiate mutually acceptable terms for a new contract, which would start July 1.
“It is with pleasure, and a great sense of relief, that I announce the successful conclusion of contract negotiations between the city of Ann Arbor and firefighters Local 693,” Mayor John Hieftje said in a written statement today. “The financial terms of the contract streamlines labor costs and suspends the layoff of 13 firefighters on Jan. 1, 2010.”
“I commend the bargaining committee for negotiating a fair contract that recognizes the contribution fire employees make in protecting our residents but also acknowledges the revenue constraints facing the city of Ann Arbor," City Administrator Roger Fraser added in the same press release.
The new contract includes a no-layoff guarantee through June 30, a 3-percent wage reduction and a 1-percent increase in employee pension contributions, which the union points out technically amounts to a 4 percent reduction in pay. It also includes a 50 percent reduction in the city’s contribution to employee healthcare reimbursement accounts for firefighters, which cost the city $45,500 last year.
According to a compensation report for last fiscal year, firefighter wages totaled $6.2 million. Another $509,687 was paid out in overtime and banked comp time.
Firefighter pensions cost the city $1.1 million last year, while health, dental and vision coverage was another $914,276.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529.