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Fort Worth
Monday, April 19, 2021

Council Report: Collective bargaining agreement with fire fighters approved

FIRE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT APPROVED

The Fort Worth City Council put its stamp of approval on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the City of Fort Worth and its fire department during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The new agreement will become effective July 1 and run through Sept. 30 of 2022, with an evergreen period extending to Sept. 30 of 2023.

“I feel comfortable with the contract we have negotiated with the city,” International Association of Fire Fighters Local 440 President Michael Glynn said. “While it took since October of 2017 to come to an agreement, I will say we moved a lot of mountains, jumped a lot of hurdles, and we worked well together, I believe.”

City Manager David Cooke said among the key accomplishments of the agreement are fair and competitive compensation to fire fighters, which will also allow the department to effectively recruit and retain members, along with maintaining the appropriate management rights of Chief Jim Davis. He added it will result in an increase in department professionalism by allowing firefighters to receive various incentives for special duty assignments and the attainment of educational or fire certifications.

Also, the added flexibility in staffing increases time that an apparatus can be staffed with three persons from four to five hours and in additional situations.

Highlights of the new CBA include:

Overtime

*Voluntary constant staffing overtime will only be paid 1.5 times premium if a member exceeds 106 hours in 14-day pay cycle.

*Vacation leave counts as hours worked for purposes of calculating overtime.

*Pay cycle changed from 28 days to 14 days.

*Assumes cost/savings will be net neutral but will be dependent upon behavior and management practices.

*Firefighters will be ineligible to work overtime for 30 days after using 60 hours of sick or family leave during preceding 180-day period for staff firefighters (i.e. 40-hour work week).

*Firefighters will be ineligible to work overtime for 30 days after using 96 hours of sick or family leave during preceding 180-day period for firefighters in operation (i.e

56 hour work week).

*Sick and family leave will not count as hours worked for purposes of calculating overtime.

*Removed cumbersome documentation review processes for sick and family leave.

Healthcare

Implemented for firefighters, recruits, pre-Medicare retirees, future retirees, eligible spouses, and eligible dependents.

Pension

The pension was maintained as an issue handled outside of the CBA.

*Acknowledges recent changes and intent to avoid future changes until conclusion of risk-sharing contribution increases (earliest date expected fiscal year 2023).

*Preserves the right to make earlier changes if necessary, but provides for a notice of 180 days and opportunity for input.

Wage increases

*FY19-20, effective Oct. 1, 3% across the board, plus annual steps.

*FY20-21, effective Oct. 1, 2020, 4% across the board, plus annual steps.

*FY21-22, effective Oct. 1, 2021, 4% across the board, plus annual steps.

*Fiscal year 2018-2019 pay increases (2% across the board) are effective for the first full pay period in July, which begins on the 6th.

*No retroactive pay.

Incentive pay

*Ordinances will be rescinded with incentive pays now incorporated into the CBA.

*Changed to percentage of pay.

*New EMT basic assignment pay of $78 per month added. All fire fighters qualify and annual cost is $759,200.

Other changes

*New agreement permits regular past practices to serve as policy if no written policy is

in place.

*Allows unilateral changes by the city for specific management rights.

*Fire department management agreed to place departmental rules in an easily

accessible location and format on department intranet.

Sixty-day reopeners allowed for changes to the city’s leave structure, and changes to the promotional process for battalion chiefs.

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