Twp. board OKs contract with on-call firefighters

FLINT TWP. — A signing bonus and life insurance are included in a new two-year contract with the township’s on-call firefighters, approved by the township board Monday.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Michigan Association of Firefighters (MAFF) is effective from January 2014 through December 31, 2015 but allows wage negotiations to be reopened beginning January 2015 at the written request of either party.

The new contract retains provisions from the previous two-year agreement which expired Dec. 31, 2013, with some amendments.

One new provision is that upon ratification of the agreement, each on-call fire fighter will receive a one-time stipend of $125. Township employees have not had a raise in five years so on-call firefighters are being given signing bonuses similar to those included in new contracts with other bargaining units, said Township Supervisor Karyn Miller

MAFF members ratified the agreement last week, she said.

The agreement also states that the township will provide term life insurance coverage to each fire fighter, with a maximum benefit of $25,000, subject to the terms of the policy.

Effective immediately through Dec. 31, 2014, the contract states rates of pay after tone-out for firefighters responding to alarms.

Wages for the life of the contract are $1500 for probationary firefighters and $1700 for the rest.

There is new language about seniority based on hire-in dates and also terms for the provision and maintenance of dress uniforms. The department is phasing out single-breasted dress coats and replacing them with double-breasted ones to be issued to all firefighters by June of this year.

Additional terms retained in the contract address attendance at required training and further negotiations to set up a program aimed at improving the rate of response to alarms.

A minimum response rate of 20 percent is targeted, excluding time attending training.

Firefighters will be notified if their response rate falls below 20 percent, the agreement states. Failure to meet the 20 percent response rate during a quarter will not result in disciplinary actions unless it continues to a point that the “department asserts that the fire fighter has effectively abandoned his or her position.”

If the parties agree on a response rate program by Sept. 30 , the township will pay an additional stipend of $125 to each firefighter who meets the targeted response rate from October- December.

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