SYCAMORE – The City Council on Monday approved a four-year contract with Sycamore’s 26-member firefighter union.
By a 6-0 vote – 4th Ward Alderwoman Janice Tripp and 2nd Ward Alderman Chuck Stowe were absent – the council approved the contract that includes a 2.25 percent pay raise this year and next, and a 2.5 percent increase in 2017 and 2018. The new contract, which will cost the city about $2.2 million each year until it expires in 2019, also includes a system that caps the number of firefighters that responds to shift recalls during the day at 11, a no-layoff clause, and a retirement health care funding plan.
Mayor Ken Mundy said the contract includes “a couple of nice features that encourages self-investment in the unit” for retirement.
“All of us need to do more than our pension, or whatever plan we’re working under through our employer, to be sure we have funds set aside for retirement,” Mundy said. “Both sides worked together in a real respectful and honorable way to come to some middle ground and some agreement on the four-year contract. We’re very pleased.”
The approved deal mirrors deals made earlier this year with the Sycamore’s two other unions – the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 133 and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3957.
“All three of our bargaining units have been very good about reasonable requests for increases through some tough years,” Mundy said.
Fire Chief Pete Polarek praised the contract and its benefits after the meeting Monday.
“The length of it is important to give some stability and security to all parties in order to allow us to budget,” he said, “[and it] allow us to move forward with other issues over the four-year period.”