Upper Arlington firefighters are expected to receive 3.25% base salary raises in 2020 through a new three-year contract with the city.
The contract was approved unanimously by Upper Arlington City Council on Dec. 9. It also gives the city's firefighters 3% raises in both 2021 and 2022.
The agreement was approved Dec. 13 by members of the Upper Arlington firefighters' union, the International Association of Firefighters Local 1521.
The agreement with 53 members of the IAFF 1521 comes after the city last December reached a three-year collective-bargaining agreement with its police officers.
In that deal, Upper Arlington police officers were given 3.25% raises in 2019 and 2020 and 3% in 2021.
According to the city's finance division, the average base salary for an Upper Arlington firefighter is $86,000.
"The firefighters' pay rates are based on their negotiated labor agreement, which includes additional pay for overtime, supplement for being a paramedic, etc.," said Brent Lewis, finance director. "However, to keep things simple, the average base salary of a firefighter in UA, excluding lieutenants and captains, during 2019 is approximately $86,000."
By comparison, Lewis said, the average base salary for rank-and-file Upper Arlington police officers in 2019 is approximately $90,000.
The new firefighter contract increases uniform contracts from $900 to $1,250 "due to the increase in cost relative to fire-repellent uniform materials," said City Manager Steve Schoeny, City Attorney Jeanine Hummer, Assistant City Manager Dan Ralley and fire Chief Lyn Nofziger in a Dec. 9 staff report to council. "The city was also able to obtain language that disallows the uniform allowance if the member retires during the first quarter, as well as a clawback provision if the member has already received the allowance."
Additionally in the new contract, IAFF 1521 members will receive $500 contract signing bonuses because they were able to reach an agreement with the city through an "expedited negotiation."
Hummer said negotiations opened July 29 and were resolved by Dec. 2.
"Normally, negotiations involve multiple representatives and carry into the next year after the contract expires," she said. "Both of those did not happen, and we reached tentative agreement prior the expiration of the current contract."
A representative of IAFF 1521 did not respond to requests for comment via telephone and email.