Council to discuss firefighter union contract, Main Street Corridor project


(Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson)

Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th) speaks at a City Council meeting. Fleming encouraged city staff to be more “aggressive” with union contracts going into 2018.

Julia Esparza, City Editor

Aldermen will review a collective bargaining agreement with the International Association of Fire Fighters and discuss the authorization of a $2.1 million contract for the Main Street Corridor Improvement Project at Monday’s City Council meeting.

City staff have been negotiating updates to union contracts with representatives from the IAFF Local 472 Union over the past several months. During Monday’s meeting, city staff will recommend Council approve the agreement, which includes a wage increase and an increase in employee contributions to insurance premiums.

During contract negotiations last year, Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th) and Ald. Tom Suffredin (6th) voted against approving the agreement. Fleming encouraged the city to be “aggressive” with contract negotiations in anticipation of a budget deficit in 2019.

“City residents are starting to understand that we are looking at some more deficits this year, so I’m hopeful that our union staff will be mindful of that as we implement these contracts,” Fleming said at an April 2017 council meeting.

The new agreement entails a 2.25 percent wage increase that will be implemented incrementally until 2022. An additional 36 hours of comp time in 2019, 2020 and 2021 will be granted, “as a one-time consideration for concessions on wage increases,” according to city documents.

Under the proposed contract, the maximum sick days to be paid out will be reduced from 620 to 600 hours beginning in 2022. The contract will be in place for four years.

“The four-year term will provide both parties with union security and stability,” according to city documents. “Furthermore, the lengthy term provides the City with the ability to properly and reasonably budget for salaries and expenses associated with these employees.”

At Monday’s meeting, city staff will also recommend the council execute a $2.1 million contract for the Main Street Corridor Improvement Project. The contract with Landmark Contractors, Inc. includes the installation of a traffic signal system, pavement reconstruction and storm sewer extensions.

Landmark Contractors, Inc. won the contract after outbidding three other companies. Its total bid price of $2.1 million will also pay for a sidewalk extension on the south side of the street from the shopping center to Hartrey Avenue, the instillation of new LED street lights, tree removal and replacements, resurfacing the roadway and improved lane lines and pavement markings.

“Landmark, Inc. has previously completed projects for the City, and staff has found their
work to be satisfactory,” according to city documents.

In funding the Main Street Corridor Improvement Project, the city will utilize $900,000 from the CIP Fund 2018 General Obligation Bonds and $100,000 from the Sewer Fund. The remaining $1.1 million will come from 2019 General Obligation Bonds, according to city documents.

The city has not yet released a timeline for these improvements.

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