JAMESTOWN – The City of Jamestown has reached a tentative agreement with the municipality’s Fire Department union staffing fire services through 2024.
Mayor Eddie Sundquist’s Administration and the Jamestown Professional Firefighters Association, Local 137, announced the tentative agreement was reached for the years 2021 through 2024. The union approved the contract earlier this month.
The new contract provides for the hiring of four additional firefighters, along with the deployment of a second ambulance, a resource officials say is sorely needed in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Additional contractual terms include wage increases of 2.5% for years 2021 through 2023, followed by a 2.75% increase in 2024. The agreement also includes percentage increases to the City’s health insurance plan by union members, along with the end lifetime health insurance for all newly hired firefighters.
“After much negotiation, I am proud the union and management team have been able to come to a deal,” said Sundquist in a statement. “The addition of four firefighters, who are also EMTs, helps show our residents that health and public safety are top priorities of the City and my administration.”
If approved by the city’s council, for the first time since 2015 city firefighters will be operating under a current contract.
“I am appreciative that union leadership and our management team worked out a fair deal,” said Sundquist. “I ask that City Council approve this agreement in the name of increased public safety for all Jamestown residents.”
Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Coon says hiring four additional members will enable his department to increase ambulance coverage to double the current capacity; relieving a portion of the substantial burden currently being carried by neighboring volunteer fire departments.
“This agreement truly represents the City’s and JPFFA’s commitment to meeting the needs of the community, especially in the face of an ongoing pandemic that has stressed our emergency medical system beyond its limits,” said Coon. “The Fire Department’s mission to deliver high-quality fire protection and life-saving emergency medical care to our residents is always our top priority”.