Grandview Heights firefighters will receive 3.25 percent pay increases annually for the next three years.

City Council approved a new three-year contract with the city's firefighters July 23. The contract is retroactive to Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2020.

In the previous three-year contract, the firefighters had received a 3 percent annual pay raises.

The new contract maintains the same terms regarding insurance.

The city will continue to pay 85 percent of the cost per member for single and family health insurance and dental coverage. The remainder will be paid by the employee.

The contract also continues a longevity-pay provision, in which, on reaching the fifth anniversary of continuous service with the city, the employee will receive a $600 base payment.

That is an increase of $100 over the sum in the last contract. For each additional year after five years of service, the employee will receive an additional $40 per year.

The 3.25 percent increase will bring Grandview's starting salary for firefighters to $53,435 in 2018 -- an hourly rate of $18.35. The salary for a firefighter/EMT with five years of experience with the department will be $79,264.64, or an hourly rate of $27.22. A fire captain's salary will be $91,087.36.

In 2020, the third year of the contract, the starting salary will be $56,987.24. The pay for firefighters with five years of experience will be $84,477 and the fire captain's salary will be $97,115.

The standard schedule for a firefighter is to work a 24-hour shift followed by 48 hours off before returning to regular duty, or 112 hours per two-week pay period.

The agreement continues a provision added in the last contract that no position other than fire inspector and staff captain will be designated as a 40-hour-a-week position except by the fire chief, in conjunction with the approval of the appointing authority.

The supplemental payment given to employees working 40 hours a week will increase from $1,500 to $1,700.

The contract strikes a good balance between providing the firefighters with a fair pay increase and remaining within the city's budget, Mayor Ray DeGraw said.

The negotiations for the new contract took a while to complete, not because of any major disagreements, but because the two sides engaged in an effort to "clean up" and clarify existing language in the contract, DeGraw said.

"It's a complicated process going section by section through the contract," he said.

The firefighters are represented by Local 1792, International Association of Firefighters.