Members of Evansville Professional Firefighters Local 357 have voted to ratify a new contract with the City of Evansville. The tentative agreement covers the remainder of 2012. The contract contains a duration clause which also provides for extending the agreement through December 31, 2015.
“I am happy to get the contract behind us for this year. Both sides are eager to continue the improvement of firefighter safety, health and wellness,” said Evansville Fire Chief Mike Connelly. “That benefits the whole community when there is a call for 911 service. I am looking forward to getting back to the negotiation table to build on this foundation.”
Firefighters Local 357 President Larry Zuber and union leadership expressed relief that the 2012 contract is behind and they can focus on moving forward. Zuber said the contract was ratified following two days of voting this week. It covers 271 firefighters.
“With the 2012 contract, we anticipate beginning negotiations immediately for 2013 and beyond to secure a more comprehensive agreement that will be mutually satisfying, enabling our relationship with the City to flourish under Mayor Winnecke’s tenure,” Zuber said.
Highlights of the contract include a new random drug testing policy and improved pay for firefighters required to work on Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays. Firefighters had already received a 2 percent raise for 2012.
“I am pleased a new contract has been successfully resolved by city officials and the firefighters union,” said Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “The tentative contract is subject to approval by the Evansville City Council and the Board of Public Safety, and I urge the Council and Board to take swift action.”