Boardman trustees to discuss firefighter contract

By Ashley Luthern


Township trustees are expected to decide on a new fire-department contract tonight.

The trustees will meet at Bethel Lutheran Church, 425 Crestview Drive, at 5:30 p.m.

“They will discuss it in executive session for the purposes of collective bargaining. They will go over an executive report of the contract and make a decision from that point,” said township Administrator Jason Loree.

If the trustees want to sign the new contract, they will come out of executive session tonight and vote on it publicly, he added.

Firefighters in the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1176 approved a tentative agreement unanimously more than a month ago, said Harry Wolfe, IAFF Local 1176 president.

Loree did not disclose specifics of the tentative agreement, saying he did not want to commit an unfair labor practice.

Wolfe, however, did release a few items in the tentative agreement.

The agreement “calls for starting pay of $24,000 for new firefighters and it puts in a 22-year step to full pay,” he said, also noting less vacation time and sick leave.

“We will still have all current employee wages frozen for three more years, which means a total of five years without a raise. We have not had step increases for current firefighters. They are all frozen at 2008 pay,” Wolfe said.

He also said even more changes are included in the tentative agreement.

“I think the people of Boardman will be pleased to see what we’ve done,” Wolfe said. “... I would hope [the trustees] would sign it.”

Loree said as soon as the trustees vote on the contract in public session, providing they approve it, details of the contract will be released to the public.

Other than discussions of the fire contract, the meeting agenda will be light, he added.

“We really don’t know where we’re at, so there’s no big purchases. We’re waiting to see what the state does. Until we know what [Gov. John Kasich] does, it’s hard to plan for local government cuts,” Loree said.

Kasich is expected to unveil a two-year budget plan Tuesday.

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