Ohio part-time FFs receive raises, lose grace period under new contract

The new contract includes a raise every year for the next three years, and increases the hourly wage increase at five-year increments


Krista S. Kano
Akron Beacon Journal

The Tallmadge Part-Time Firefighters Association and the city have finally come to an agreement on a three-year contract that runs through Dec. 31, 2023.

"There's an old saying about negotiations that if no one's happy, then it's a good contract, and I think that may be the case here," Councilman Chris Grimm said.

The new contract includes a raise every year for the next three years, and increases the hourly wage increase at five-year increments.
The new contract includes a raise every year for the next three years, and increases the hourly wage increase at five-year increments. (Mike Cardew, Akron Beacon Journal)

City council approved the contract on June 10 in a 5-0 vote with one abstention. Councilman James Donovan was not present, and Council president Carol Kilway did not vote or participate in discussions because her husband is a part-time firefighter.

Tallmadge director of administration Don Cooper said that the union has ratified the contract, but had not signed it as of June 15.

The union could not be reached for comment.

The new contract offers a 3% raise in 2021, a 2.5% raise in 2022 and a 2.75% raise in 2023. It also increases the hourly wage increase at five-year increments, and includes a new personal property reimbursement for property damaged while on duty up to $75 per incident.

Part-time firefighters still must work seven 6-hour shifts per month, but will now receive one day off per calendar year which allows them to only have to work six six-hour shifts one month out of the year. Under the old contract, failure to meet the requirements for two consecutive months could result in progressive discipline; however, the new now contract removes that two-month grace period before being disciplined.

The new contract also now stipulates that part-time firefighters cannot work more than three midnight shifts per month.

The matter first came before council in October 2020, but was tabled in January 2021 until council approved it last week.

Cooper said that negotiations went smoothly and that the association was "cooperative. It just took longer from them to reach out to their members to get their feelings for what was acceptable and what was not."

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(c)2021 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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