Youngstown to sign a three-year contract with its firefighters union

Published: Tue, September 19, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick


City council on Wednesday will consider ratifying a three-year contract with its firefighters union that calls for members to wait until Jan. 1, 2019, to get a raise.

The union is concluding two days of voting on the contract today, said Tony Ciccone, its president. He said he expects members to approve the contract.

“It will pass,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll have any problems getting it passed.”

Deputy Law Director Rebecca Gerson said the administration is recommending council also approve the pact.

The proposed deal is retroactive to June 1 and expires May 31, 2020.

The tentative contract includes a 1 percent raise effective Jan. 1, 2019, and a 1.5 percent salary increase Jan. 1, 2020.

City officials have sought financial relief for 2018 because of concerns of a budget shortfall in the general fund and the possibility of layoffs.

The firefighters union “understands the fiscal problems of the city and agreed to defer pay increases until 2019,” Gerson said. “The city is pleased with this contract.”

Ciccone said, “We did our due diligence, spending months and months at the negotiating table. Both parties will pass the contract. We want to get the best pay raises we can, and [the city] wants to limit costs.”

If approved, this would be the first city employee contract that goes into 2020.

City finance department officials say Youngstown can afford a 1.5 percent raise for firefighters in that year, Gerson said.

The previous contract had union members receiving a 2.5 percent raise in 2015 and a 1 percent increase in 2016. Before that, firefighters had worked without a pay raise for about six years.

The union has 122 members, Ciccone said. Also, four new members are being sworn in today.

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