Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Collective Bargaining Agreement

Jose Gonzalez, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2928, sent a letter Friday to city manager Tom Bradford saying the collective bargaining agreement had been ratified. A total of 36 MPs voted by 32 votes in favour and 4 against, he said. Last month, after years of negotiations, representatives of the firefighters` union and the city reached an interim agreement. Discussions began in October 2013. In December 2014, the two sides agreed on the principle of a contract. But in February 2015, firefighters rejected the contract by 20 votes to 0. On August 28, 2015, municipal and union officials declared that the impasse was the same, citing two themes: the working week and pension benefits. The impasse ended in January 2016. After years at the negotiating table, Palm Beach firefighters agreed with the city, which would offer them better wages and benefits. Under the new contract, firefighters would receive one in ten days of assistance, known as Kelly Day. Palm Beach firefighters are on duty for 24 hours, followed by 48 hours of service, meaning the day off would come every 30 days. Gonzalez said services typically plan Kelly`s days every 21 days. Gonzalez said last month that the contract doesn`t make Palm Beach firefighters “compatible with everyone in our area,” but it was a compromise that brings them “a little closer.” Deputy Fire Chief Darrel Donatto declined to comment on the agreement.

He said he would keep his comments for the June 13 City Council meeting when members vote on final ratification. “Local 2928 is very pleased that members voted overwhelmingly in favour of this treaty,” Gonzalez said by email Friday. “I am not surprised by this ratification, because it is a fair treaty in which both the work and the management have worked hard to find themselves rightly. The municipality looks forward to continuing to work with Chief Donatto and the city to provide the best possible service to citizens, while making firefighters a service where staff enjoy a long and rewarding career. Please send a copy of the collective agreement. We are currently in the process of formatting the document to meet federal requirements. We apologise for any inconvenience. RELATED: Public safety benefits less generously in Palm Beach, results of the study POSTED ON BULLETIN BOARD: City Hall, fire station #94 and fire rescue station #95. Gonzalez said the 2015-17 contract would expire on October 1 and negotiations would resume. The new contract would provide workers` occupational retirement benefits to those decided by the Commission last year for police and fire controllers.

The benefit multiplier would be set at 2.75%, the retirement age at 56% and pension fund contributions, among others, between 8 and 12%. Members of the Rank and File union voted Thursday and Friday on a contract on pensions, days of relief, promotions, wages, increases and other benefits. Tensions began when the city declared a deadlock in negotiations in 2010 and in 2011 concluded a contract for deep cuts in pensions and benefits, which came into effect on May 1, 2012.