City reaches agreement with Hartford firefighters union - WFSB 3 Connecticut

City reaches agreement with Hartford firefighters union

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On Monday, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announced a four-year agreement with Hartford Firefighters Association Local 706.

In a press release, Bronin said the agreement will save the city more than $3.5 million in the fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2017.

Bronin said the agreement will replace the current contract, which expired on June 30, and will extend to June 30, 2020.

“I commend the Hartford Fire Union for recognizing the severity and the urgency of our fiscal crisis, and for doing their part to help put Hartford on the path to fiscal health. This agreement will save the City of Hartford millions of dollars in each of the next four years, and makes some very significant structural changes to reduce long-term liabilities.  At a time when Hartford faces intense fiscal pressure, I’m proud that we were able to work together to sign a serious, responsible agreement for Hartford and its taxpayers,” Bronin said in the release.

The agreement includes:

  • No wage increases for four years
  • A 70% increase in annual employee contributions into the pension fund
  • Substantial changes to health care plan design, shifting from a costly Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan to a high-deductible plan with health savings account
  • For current employees with less than ten years of service, an increase in the years of service required for retirement from 20 years to 25 years
  • Substantial increases in employee share of health care premium costs
  • Dramatic reduction in City’s exposure for funding retiree healthcare after age 65

In addition, for new hires the agreement:

  • Caps future pensions at 70 percent of employees’ base pay (overtime pay is not factored into earnings for pension)
  • Reduces salaries by approximately 10% across the board
  • Effectively eliminates the city’s liability for funding retiree health care

"We reached a settlement that protects the safety of our members and the citizens and visitors of Hartford, but delivers a savings to the city. In the economic times that we're in, we've always done our part," said Vincent Fusco.

According to the release, the city is still in negotiation or arbitration with other municipal employee unions.

“If Hartford’s other municipal employee unions were to agree to changes similar to those agreed upon with the Hartford Fire Fighters Association, the City of Hartford would save nearly $12 million in the upcoming Fiscal Year, with savings increasing in each subsequent year,” the release said.

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