Politics
6:39 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

City Reaches Contract Deal with Police, Firefighters Union

Louisville Metro Government has reached a five-year deal with the city’s police and fire unions that provides raises while making significant changes to the overtime and health plan systems.

The contracts with the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Firefighters were recently ratified by their membership, and both contracts will be presented to the Metro Council next week for consideration.

Mayor Greg Fischer says the new labor agreement helps the city align projected revenues with rising costs.

"I applaud both sides for taking a fair and affordable approach to these contracts," he says. "Our employees are among the best in class and we are on a constant journey of improvement. These new contracts take a big step toward matching revenue growth with personnel costs."

The FOP contract creates a two-tiered health plan for police officers in which current employees remain in their specialized plan while new recruits must move to the standard health insurance plans offered to other city employees.

Administrations official argue this will help balance the structural imbalance in the city budget.

"We are pleased that we were able to provide some longer term stability regarding health insurance benefits/premiums and pay increases for our members," says FOP President David Mutchler. "We were also able to make some non-economic changes that have been quality of work issues for members."

The police and fire contracts both stipulate employees must work 40 hours before getting overtime pay, and extend through June 30, 2018.

IAF President Craig Willman says the negotiations with the Fischer administration were smoother than in years past.

"For the first time since I joined the fire department a deal was reach before the current contract expired. And that's the story in my view," he says. "You don't always get everything you want. We gave the department more flexibility in terms of staff they never had before. But we feel this chief will keep staffing at a safe level for this community."

The FOP contract covers about 1,170 employees and includes a 1 percent pay raise in the current fiscal year with 2 percent raises in years 2014-18. The fire union deals covers around 460 employees and includes a $1,000 stipend for completion of an accreditation in the current fiscal year and 2 percent raises in years 2015-18.

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