Edwardsville settles part of firefighter union dispute
The Edwardsville City Council Feb. 18 held an Impasse Resolution Hearing to try to resolve contract negotiations with an area firefighter union.
The council authorized an agreement to provide firefighters who are members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 64 pay raise compensations of 2 percent each year for 2012 and 2013, but no salary increase for 2011, Michael Webb, city manager, said.
This resolution was reached after years of attempted negotiations between the two groups; a contract had not been in place with the union since 2010. The resolution was based on a recommendation of a fact-finder assigned to the case after failed negotiations and mediation.
Webb said that no one from the union was present at the hearing, but their legal counsel had indicated to the city’s legal counsel that the union was in agreement with staff’s recommendation to the council. Local 64 officials then signed off on a memorandum of agreement Monday.
In 2013, the city removed itself from the Public Employee-Employer Relations Act, which allows cities to negotiate contracts with city employee unions like Local 64. But the city still will have to resolve another legal matter with the firefighter’s union.
Local 64 filed a complaint that the city was not negotiating in good faith and arguing that effective date for opting out of PEERA should have been the beginning of 2015 rather than 2014.