Libertyville firefighters reach contract deal
Libertyville firefighter/paramedics Matt Hughes (left) and Steve Shaffer participate in a training drill. | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 28, 2013 1:57AM
LIBERTYVILLE — The union representing the Libertyville firefighters and the village reached an agreement on a new three-year contract following 10 months of negotiations.
Libertyville Professional Firefighters Association Local 3982 and the village reached accord on Nov. 13 on a contract that increases salaries a total of 4 percent over three years.
The contract directly affects 36 firefighters and six lieutenants in the Libertyville Fire Department.
One of the main issues in contract negotiations was salary. Firefighters’ wages, which were frozen, will rise 1 percent, retroactive to May 2012. Salaries will increase another 1 percent on May 1, 2013, and again on Nov. 1, 2013. A 2-percent salary increase is scheduled for May 1, 2014.
A sick-leave incentive program also was instated allowing the buy-back of a certain amount of sick days on a year-to-year basis, rather than waiting until retirement.
“This was a very good process,” said Libertyville Fire Chief Richard Carani. “The firefighters and the village are happy about the new contract and the village came to the table ready and willing to work with us.”
The new agreement also offers reimbursement of $450 a year per firefighter for outside training opportunities which Carani said was a great form of motivation for the firefighters at his station to seek more detail-specific training.
Union President Michael Hall found the negotiations and agreement to be highly favorable.
“I believe this is one of the most unselfish contracts that we have ever negotiated,” said Hall. “It concentrated mostly on manning, safety and increasing training opportunities to improve the knowledge, skills and quality of the firefighters/paramedics. Overall, we are extremely excited over the new contract and have enjoyed working with the Village of Libertyville to improve the quality of service provided to our citizens.”
The contract also includes filling a firefighter vacancy in 2013. The position has been unfilled for the past several years.
“All costs that come along with this new agreement are within the parameters of the village’s five-year financial plan,” said Libertyville Village Administrator Kevin Bowens. “This was a very productive and collaborative process and it was the most positive negotiation experience we’ve had. All involved were pleased with the results.”
The newly instated agreement expires April 30, 2015.
Negotiations began in January 2012. The previous contract expired April 30, 2012.