Oswego, Firefighters Agree On New Deal

OSWEGO – The Port City and the Oswego Fire Department began a new chapter on Monday night.
At the final Common Council meeting of 2018, Mayor Billy Barlow presented a proposed deal with firefighters to the City Council.
It was unanimously approved.
The new agreement takes firefighters through 2022 and wraps up the last open city bargaining unit contract to be settled.
The contract ends a nearly two-year impasse between the city and firefighters, after the 2016 cuts to the department to meet city financial obligations.
“This is an unconventional deal. It was reached without using legal counsel and the courts to go back and forth,” the mayor said. “When other communities are forced to resolve disagreements in court and talking through their attorneys, we have been able to resolve our differences by working together.”
The deal is effective Jan. 1, 2017 and run through Dec. 31, 2022.
It includes wage adjustments as follows:
• Effective Jan. 1, 2017 – a 2% wage adjustment
• Effective Jan. 1, 2018 – a 3% wage adjustment
• Effective Jan. 1, 2019 – a 3% wage adjustment
• Effective Jan. 1, 2020 – No adjustment
• Effective Jan. 1, 2021 – a 4.75% wage adjustment
• Effective Jan. 1, 2022 – a 4.75% wage adjustment
“We are pleased with the agreement and the process resolving our differences leaves me more optimistic for how we move the department into the future,” said Oswego Firefighters Local 126 President John Geraci.
“You can accomplish extraordinary things when you talk to people and not through people,” said Fire Chief Randy Griffin. “This closes a chapter and I look forward to continuing to move the department ahead.”
“The fire department has been working under a contract hat expired at the end of 2016,” the mayor said. “It’s exciting to get this done.”
He credited the hard of Griffin and Geraci for helping craft a deal that is fair to the union as well as the city, he said.
The relationship has change between the city, under Barlow’s administration, and the fire department, he said, adding that “it’s changed for the better. There’s quite a bit of trust that’s built up. It speaks volumes to Chief Griffin’s leadership over there. We’ve come a long way; we still have a way to go but we get better each and every day.”

2 Comments

  1. Barlow should have hired the Mayor of Fulton to work out the contract…..

    FULTON, NY – The City of Fulton and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3063, the union representing Fulton Fire Department, have reached a contract agreement.
    A resolution unanimously approved by the Fulton Common Council determines salary increases throughout the department for the years of 2018, 2019 and 2020.

    The department will receive 0.5 percent increase in 2018, one percent increase in 2019, and one percent increase in 2020.
    Negotiations started near immediately after the last contract was approved in 2017, just narrowly avoiding arbitration.
    Fulton Fire Chief David Eiffe said that negotiations went with “no bumps in the road.”
    “The negotiations went well. The union and the city came to the table with reasonable requests. I think it is a fair contract for our firefighters with benefits for both the city and the fire department,” Chief Eiffe said.
    Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. was pleased with the contract as well.
    “I think this is a good contract. I went through it with the council, there were a few other small things but (salaries) are the gist of it and I think it’s good,” Woodward said.
    Negotiations are ongoing with the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) representing city employees as the most recent contract expired at the end of 2017.
    The CSEA has been offered the same increases presented in the agreement with the IAFF, Woodward said.
    The Police Benevolent Association (PBA) representing the Fulton Police Department reached a contract agreement in 2017 that will expire on December 31, 2019, after taking a one-time $500 raise and a two-percent increase followed by four years with no salary increase.
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  2. A Fulton firefighter will have a maximum base pay of around 73000 and an Oswego firefighter will have a maximum base pay of 64000 by the end of both contracts. Keep in mind that Oswego firefighters will do twice the call volume of a Fulton firefighter with the same number of people on shift. This is due to Oswego being considerably larger than fulton. Also keep in mind that Oswego firefighters provide advanced life support while Fulton provides basic life support. Oswego firefighters have been the lowest paid and highest trained for a while but I guess you wouldn’t care.

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