Revised contract for Fire Department workers includes smaller pay raises

Las Vegas Fire Department workers last week agreed to a revised contract that includes smaller wage increases and lower health care contributions designed to save the city about $4 million a year.

“It passed,” IAFF Local 1285 President Dean Fletcher said Monday. “We’re glad it’s behind us, and we look forward to our next negotiations.”

Fletcher said employees with a supervisory role in the local International Association of Fire Fighters union voted unanimously to approve the revised contract while 75 percent of rank-and-file employees voted in favor of the changes.

Fletcher said he couldn’t say how many of the city’s 600 IAFF members participated in the two votes.

“We know it’s been a tough budget year,” said Fletcher, referring to the city’s financial woes amid a prolonged economic downturn.

Last week, the City Council ratified revisions to the second half of the two-year contract. The $4 million in cuts represents about 3.8 percent of the department’s annual budget of $104 million.

Three years ago, the annual budget was about $117 million, and the most recent cuts are a continuation of those decreases.

The more significant cuts include a $90-per-pay-period reduction in the amount the city contributes to employee health insurance — from $450 to $360 each paycheck — representing a savings of
$1.4 million for the city.

An additional $900,000 savings will be realized through the elimination of uniform allowances.

Other reductions include $520,000 through extending the period firefighters are ineligible for overtime after a sick day from three to eight days and by increasing the number of “rovers” who fill in for sick firefighters or those on vacation.

The average annual pay for a city firefighter is about $68,600. Paramedics for the city earn an average of about $83,000.

The revised agreement will last through the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.

Contact reporter Doug McMurdo at
dmcmurdo@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5512.

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