The City of Allentown and International Association of Firefighters Local 302 have reached agreement on a five year contract. The pact will cover the period from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020. Mayor Ed Pawlowski formally signed the agreement today which had been previously signed by IAF Local 302 President John Stribula following a ratification vote by the members of the union.
The contract includes an increased longevity payment of $1,000 and general base pay increases of 2% in 2017 and 3% in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Beginning in 2017, firefighters will be required to contribute to the cost of their health care benefits. The contribution will be 2.5% of the premium rate in 2017 and 5% of the premium rate in 2018 through 2020. Beginning in 2019, the contribution is capped at not more than $15 per month of the contribution rate for the prior year.
The new contract mandates the scheduling of 25 total personnel per shift including command positions. The city is not required to replace scheduled firefighters due to sick time, or unpaid leave. The city currently staffs at 25 firefighters per shift.
“This is a fair contract,” said Pawlowski. “Fair contracts are a result of give and take by both sides and that is why we were able to reach an agreement without having to go through an expensive arbitration. The firefighters are being fairly compensated. They are for the first time contributing to their health insurance premiums. I thank the union negotiating team members for their effort and I am pleased that the rank-and-file voted in favor of the contract.”
The city currently has 117 firefighters.