Firefighters union to receive wage increase after new contract

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Fairbanks City Council unanimously voted to pass a new contract with the Fairbanks Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 1324, at its meeting Monday night. This comes after many months of intense discussion with the city, the public, and the union.
This is the second attempt at a contact with the firefighters union and will provide a four year agreement with the 41-member union.
Some of the major changes to this new contract include a 2.3 percent increase in in wages and benefits for the firefighters, and improved workman's compensation. One of the biggest areas of savings for the city was changing employee job titles from 'Captain' to 'Acting Company Officer'. This creates a budget reduction of roughly $57,000 dollars per year.
Along with the rest of the members, Councilman Jerry Cleworth applauded the work of each negotiating team, “I appreciate both our negotiating team and the firefighters for taking another look at it and coming up with a compromise. It's not perfect. Usually negotiations never are perfect,” he said.
The city does have the ability to nonfund the contract. The internship program will be one of the first areas to be cut.
Some of the additional changes in the new contract include drug testing for union members, an improved internship program, a reduction in bedding and clothing costs, and changes to who takes a physical fitness test.