The Henderson City Council unanimously approved two-year contract extensions for city firefighters and police supervisors Tuesday night.
Both parties accepted concessions that will result in cuts of 2 percent, helping Henderson address a projected $13.5 million deficit in the next fiscal year.
The two-year extension for Henderson firefighters includes a reduction to the city’s contributions to a retirement health savings account. It also has an annual reduction in health care benefits.
The average annual salary for a Henderson firefighter in 2011 was approximately $64,000. Base wages for the department will not be changed. Predicted savings for the approved concessions over the course of two years are $896,552.
For police supervisors, the two-year agreement reduces the city’s funding for health care benefits. Base wages will remain the same. Predicted savings over the two years are $478,000.
Neither group will receive cost-of-living adjustments. Both groups will be eligible for 5 percent step raises.
Council members applauded both groups’ willingness to comply with the concessions.
Henderson Human Resources Director Fred Horvath said both groups were cooperative in making the necessary adjustments.
"It’s not popular," Horvath said. "And I can’t tell you how much we appreciate union leadership taking on a very unpopular initiative, to reach an agreement."
The City Council approved a $480 million budget for fiscal year 2013 in May. The budget is almost 4 percent less than last year, but city officials are still looking for ways to make up for the projected deficit.
An agreement made in June with Teamsters Local 14, which represents almost 700 of Henderson’s 1,800 full-time employees, is expected to save the city close to $2.4 million over the next two years.
Before concluding his presentation to the council, Horvath added that a similar concessions agreement has been reached with Henderson’s 330 police and corrections officers. That contract extension will appear before the council in late July or August.
Contact Ben Frederickson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5512.