Friday, August 28, 2015

Fort Thomas Considers Union Working Agreements

FTM file. 
During the 8-17-15 Fort Thomas City Council meeting, considerations for the working agreements with the FOP (Police), IAFF (Fire) and an amendment to AFSCME (General Services) were discussed during New Business and ordinances relating to pay were read for the first time.

All three negotiations have been concluded and according to City Administrator, Don Martin, the negotiations were professional and their requests were not unreasonable. Union contracts are usually renewed every two years.

One of the main job duties of the City Administrator is to act as lead negotiator of these discussions. The last few negotiations have been relatively smooth in contrast to the  long, drawn-out battle against the Fire Union when Martin first arrived to the city.

The resultant changes to the contracts are as follows:

Fire:

- A 2% base rate salary for fiscal years 15/16 and 16/17.
- Amending the longevity pay by adding a fourth tier for employees with more than 20 years of service. This is a result of changes to the retirement system requiring firefighters to work 25 years rather than 20 before full retirement.
- Amending the Educational Incentive to increase from $1,850 to $2,118, which is the amount that is costs for two three-hour classes at NKU. There is also a merit escalator, which decreases that amount if grades are lower. An A gets 100% reimbursement; a B gets 90%; a C gets 80%.
- Amending the Promotional Process to define requirements better.

Police:
- A 2% base rate salary for fiscal years 15/16 and 16/17.
- A provision allowing employees to donate either sick hours or vacations house to the Sick Leave Bank. Currently, they can donate only sick hours.
- Change the language regarding the transfer of their service weapon at the time of retirement to comply with recently revised state law. Previously cities were allowed to donate the weapon.
- Amending the longevity pay by adding a fourth tier for employees with more than 20 years of service. This is a result of changes to the retirement system requiring firefighters to work 25 years rather than 20 before full retirement.
- Amend the Physical Fitness incentive to $.14 and provide an additional 8 hours of vacation time.

General Services:
- Negotiations were already completed with AFSCME, but the longevity clause was added to it under the "equity clause."

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