The City of Long Beach has reached a tentative three-year agreement with the Long Beach Firefighters Association (FFA) that provides incentives and salary increases aimed at improving workforce productivity and skill levels.
Some of the incentives of the agreement include a new Paid Parental Leave program, an additional holiday and an increase in bilingual skill pay for employees that assist residents with limited English language proficiencies.
“We are happy to have reached a tentative agreement with the Long Beach Firefighters Association, with equitable terms that will ensure that we attract the best men and women to our department,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I want to thank FFA leadership for their work in reaching an agreement that is fair and fiscally responsible.”
“We would like to thank the Mayor, City Council and City Manager for their support,” said Rex Pritchard, FFA President. “The FFA bargaining team worked diligently with City representatives on this agreement. We believe this is a fair deal that will enable the Long Beach Fire Department to recruit and retain a diverse pool of firefighters in a very competitive marketplace.”
The tentative agreement includes the following major terms aimed at providing pay increases that are fair and fiscally sensible:
- Three-year contract from October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2022.
- General salary increases of 3 percent in the first year, 3 percent at the start of the third year and 3 percent six months later.
- One-time payment of $2,000 in the second year (no general salary increase).
- Reopener to meet and confer regarding possible adjustments related to CalPERS pension reform.
- Bilingual pay increase from $0.80 to $1.20.
- Creation of new skill pay (Hazmat First Responder Operations Pay) to incentivize for training skills for providing public safety services.
- Modification to current skill pays (Emergency Apparatus, Fire Prevention and Battalion Chief Certification pay).
- Creation of a new Paid Parental Leave program that is conducive to the recruitment and retention of a qualified and diverse workforce.
- Additional Step 6 equivalent to 2.5 percent of Step 5 base hourly rate of the Battalion Chief classification.
- Agreement to convene a Joint Labor Management Committee to discuss issues related to the behavioral health benefits and services provided by the Employee Assistant Plan in effort to improve services.
The entire FFA membership voted to ratify the tentative agreement during the month of September. The agreement will now go before the City Council for public discussion and consideration on October 22, 2019.
The City of Long Beach and FFA representatives held eight meetings since May 2019 prior to reaching agreement. The tentative agreement would be effective through September 30, 2022. The total estimated cost for this three-year agreement is $10.17 million for the General Fund Group and $10.26 million for All Funds.
The FFA represents approximately 400 City of Long Beach sworn employees.