Thursday, February 04, 2016
Arbitrator Awards Bethlehem Firefighters Contract
The highlights of the award include:
1. Three year term: January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2017.
2. A 3% wage increase in January of each year.
3. A $200 increase to the maximum paid for longevity.
4. Increased monthly employee contribution for health care to 6% (2017) of the COBRA rate, with limits on yearly escalation.
5. Deductibles on Health Care expenses. (Annual Individual $500 and family $1,000 in 2017)
6. An increase in the co-pays for prescription drugs.
The award is nearly identical to the terms of the tentative agreement of April 29, 2015 presented to the IAFF. It is also nearly identical to the terms of the negotiated settlement between the City and the Fraternal Order of Police Star Lodge 20 in April of 2015.
“Our labor agreements are essential management tools by which we manage our operations,” Mayor Bob Donchez said. “We feel that we have dealt with our employees in an equitable manner from the start of negotiations, a fact supported by this award.”
This agreement affects 108 firefighters in a City with three unions - Police, Fire and SEIU. There are also 120 non-union employees.
“I am pleased that this process is now complete, and the City is anxious to continue to provide services to the citizens of Bethlehem,” reported Mayor Donchez.