Fire Employees Agree To Pay Cut And More
A pay cut, health care changes, mirroring of prescription drug benefits in retirement and an increase in employee pension contribution are some of the concessions agreed to by the Royal Oak Professional Firefighters Local #431.
The City Commission on Monday approved the tentative agreement for the two year period of July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013. The union voted overwhelming to ratify the agreement on February 29, becoming the City’s first public safety group to join all general employee groups in giving real concessions.
Members of the Local have agreed to accept an immediate 2.5 percent reduction in pay; a wage freeze in the second year; moving all members to one health care plan with higher deductibles and more out of pocket costs; 20% contribution to health care premiums for all members; a $10/$40/$80 drug rider; mirroring of prescription drug coverage at retirement with prescription drug coverage for active employees; and increasing their contribution to the pension system to 6%. Employee pension contributions were previously increased from 2% to 5% in the previous contract.
“Fire stepped up to the plate,” said Mayor James Ellison. “Thank you to Joel Smith, Fire Union President for his supreme leadership in working for his people in the fire department but with an eye to the well being of Royal Oak as a whole.” Smith had described the contract as “Brutal.” Ellison added “We were both hard-nosed and sometimes it wasn’t pretty.”
According to City Manager Donald E. Johnson, “The savings in this Agreement represent real savings to the City in excess of $550,000 per year. It represents over 15% of a firefighter’s base wage. To obtain these concessions through a voluntary agreement is huge. This leaves the police groups as the only Royal Oak employees who have not agreed to a contract with significant concessions. We are hopeful this agreement will serve as a basis for obtaining similar concession agreements from them.”
Contact: Donald E. Johnson,
City Manager (248) 246-3200