London firemen agree to no wage increase for 2014

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(Posted April 11, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

London firefighters agreed to no wage increases for the first year of their new three-year contract.

City council approved the contract in a special meeting on April 7. The contract is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014, and runs through Dec. 31, 2016. With the agreement, the firefighters union has the ability to reopen negotiations regarding wages in 2015 and 2016.

The city agreed to pay each union member a one-time bonus of $1,250 for signing the contract. When the contract was last negotiated in 2010, the bonus was $1,000.

The portion of the new contract pertaining to health insurance benefits is set for the next two years. For 2014, the city will continue to pay 90 percent of a firefighter’s health insurance premium. The same percentage applies to the split for the deductible, with the firefighter responsible for paying his or her 10 percent in full before the city’s obligation kicks in.

In 2015, the premium split goes to 85 percent paid by the city, 15 percent by the firefighter. The deductible split goes to 75 percent paid by the city, however the firefighter will owe no deductible until the city meets its 75 percent obligation first.

The contract allows the union to reopen negotiations regarding health insurance benefits in 2016.

A new addition to the contract is the requirement that prospective firefighters pass an agility test. Wearing a weighted vest, the candidate must complete a stair climb, seated hose pull, ladder raise, hose drag and victim drag. The time limit ranges from 7 minutes to 13 minutes, depending on the candidate’s age and gender. 

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