The City Council agreed Tuesday to amend the six-year contract it has with the city firefighters’ union.
Council members voted in February to approve what city administrators called an “unprecedented” contract with the International Association of Firefighters, Local 1882, one that included the 2019-2020 fiscal year that ended June 30 while extending through the end of the 2024-2025 fiscal year, or June 30, 2025. At the time, city administrators said the long-term contract means city and firefighters wouldn’t return to the bargaining table to negotiate contracts from scratch for years, although revisions in the contract may be done periodically throughout its term.
That’s what happened Tuesday when the council returned from executive session and voted unanimously to accept a Memorandum of Understanding that changes three areas.
The agreement specifies that incentive pay for eligible non-probationary members of the department as of July 31, 2019, would be given on July 31 for the duration of the contract, rather than the May 31 date set in the original contract. The incentive is to be paid from funding designated for that option in the city’s Capital Improvement Program. The agreement removes a provision that would have allowed additional funds to be paid if additional money is available in the CIP.
In addition, the change adopts a provision that city administrators said puts holiday pay “more in line” with the city’s buy-back option, referring to 96 hours of flexible holiday pay provided to firefighters in addition to the eight holidays observed by the City of Lawton. The option means the city will compensate firefighters for unused flexible holiday time, up to 88 hours.