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Alameda City Council to Vote on Firefighters Contract Tonight

Alameda City Council is set to vote tonight on a new 3-year agreement with the firefighters union, IAFF Local 689. The item is #5-N on the Alameda City Council Regular Meeting agenda.

The contract, which starts retroactively on January 3rd, 2010, and runs to June 29th, 2013, or just two years beyond the Council’s vote, was hailed in a press release by Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore as “significant long-term progress on some of the thorny long-term financial challenges facing Alameda.”

The contract curtails medical benefits for the spouses and partners of newly hired firefighters, and increases firefighters’ contributions to their pension program from 9% of salary to 11% of salary.

According to the City staff report to Council, the cost to the City’s general fund for implementing the contract will be $3,600 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010-11, and $21,000 for FY 2011-12; the staff report projects a savings of $16,400 for FY2012-13.

Alameda activists Nancy Hird, and Gretchen Lipow, writing on behalf of the Alameda Citizen’s Task Force, asked, in a letter including the Council packet, that the vote on the contract be delayed for at least two City Council meetings, “until there is adequate time for the public to review and comment on contract terms. It is an unfortunate reality that the city’s public safety contracts make up nearly three-quarters of the city’s General Fund budget, yet they are negotiated behind closed doors, with nothing more than an after-the-fact public announcement of the terms.”

On June 15th, the City of Alameda announced that a previously planned local ballot measure, which the firefighters collected signatures for in 2011, and which would set minimum staffing levels for the fire department, had been pulled from the November ballot. Mayor Gilmore, and firefighters union president Domenick Weaver cited progress in labor negotiations as the reason for cancelling the measure.

2011-06-21 FF MOU

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