City to vote on new contract with Concord firefighters

By JAMIE L. COSTA

Monitor staff

Published: 07-09-2023 12:00 PM

Concord firefighters will see a 4% wage increase next year as part of a two-year union contract that city councilors will be asked to approve on Monday night. 

The two-year contract between the city and the International Association of Fire Fighters, a 72-member union, will scost an additional $243,000 in 2024 and $257,000 in 2025. Additionally, the contract calls for adding Juneteenth as a paid holiday, which will cost the city around $20,000 in 2024 and $20,500 in 2025, and add additional training for EMT advanced recertification, which will cost an additional $2,900 in 2024 and $3,000 in 2024 for an added 4.5 hours of training annually. 

The trend follows that of municipal and public safety employees throughout the city whose wages have gone up by the recommended 4% based on the rising inflation costs. As part of the recently approved budget, the city will undertake a wage and classification study to boost salaries in order to remain competitive and increase retention, which has been a problem across all city departments, specifically in public safety. 

In June, the City Council approved a $130.1 million budget to include a fire department budget of $16.6 million which was a 1.2% increase from last year’s approved budget of $16.4 million. 

The year before, the city added a fourth ambulance to the Fire Department. In addition to purchasing the vehicle, a new emergency crew was hired and trained. One-third of the city’s overall tax increase that year was due to the addition of the ambulance and crew, purchasing a new tower truck, paying for overtime costs and upgrading the certifications of 14 emergency medical technicians to Advanced EMTs.

The City Solicitor’s Office recommends the City Council approve the cost items outlined in the agreement. 

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