FULTON, NY – On the brink of heading to arbitration, the city of Fulton and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3063 representing the Fulton Fire Department have reached a contract agreement after years of failed negotiations.
After the previous contract expired at the end of 2014, city officials and union representatives failed to agree on the conditions of a new three-year contract.
Yesterday, (June 15) both parties approved a contract that closely resembles the most recent contract between the city and the CSEA.
“We understand the city has fallen on tough times,” said President of the IAFF Local 3063, Ryan Maxam. “With that being said we felt, as well as the city, that we should try to get a contract before it is settled in the hands of the arbitrator. There is no doubt that the Union and the City have a much better interest of the people and the services provided than an independent arbitrator.”
Retroactive to the expiration of the previous contract, the Fire Department will see a zero percent increase for the year 2015, a one-time $500 addition to base salaries for the year 2016, and a two percent increase for the year 2017.
Additionally, the contract lowers the minimum staffing requirements from eight to seven fire fighters on shift at any given time.
Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. said he pushed for lower minimum staffing because it is a “major cost driver” in overtime expenses.
“I am happy, I think it’s a fair contract on both sides,” Woodward said.
The IAFF Local 3063 intends to remain dedicated to the services they provide the Fulton community.
“The Fulton Firefighters Association wants above all else to see the people in the city prosper with the most effective and safest communities we can offer. We will continue to provide professional firefighters within minutes to your doorstep ready to help, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Maxam said.
Negotiations for the next contract will begin later this year as the contract will expire at the end of 2017.