Three pay raises are included in a labor contract between Perrysburg Township and its firefighters union.
The increases were less than what was sought by International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4170, but were the terms set out in a fact-finder‘s report.
The three-year agreement, approved by the township trustees and the union, calls for the 16 union members to receive 1.5 percent pay raises this year, 1.5 percent next year, and 2 percent in 2016. The first increase is retroactive to Jan. 1. The union includes firefighters, captains, and the deputy chief.
Negotiations that began in September ended last week when both sides agreed with the fact-finder.
The union sought 4 percent raises for the next three years and the township offered 1 percent this year, 1.5 percent next year, and 2 percent in 2016. In the previous three-year contract, the pay increases were 1.5 percent in each of the first two years and 2 percent in the third year.
“What we saw was par for the course when you turn it over to a third party,” said Michelle Sullivan, attorney for Allotta Farley Co.,which represents the union. “Some aspects the union was happy with, like health care, but were disappointed with the wage increases.”
She was pleased with health care insurance coverage because the township tried to boost the co-pay contributions from employees to 18 percent from 15 percent.
Also, the new contract provides an 80-cents an hour pay hike when a union member is designated as the chief in charge.
Township trustees were not thrilled about the fact-finder’s report during last week’s meeting, but wanted to get this behind them.
"It is not everything we hoped for, with a third party we knew that would happen," Trustee Gary Britten said. "It is a part of life, no one got exactly what they wanted."
Ms. Sullivan agreed: “It was a long negotiation process. Both sides needed to move on to what they do. We are glad to see it brought to a conclusion.”