North Chicago OKs new contract with firefighters
By Judy Masterson email@example.com | @JudyReport January 8, 2014 5:14PM
North Chicago firefighters will now reach the top of their pay scale at nine years, faster than the previous 10 years. | File photo
Updated: February 10, 2014 11:08AM
The North Chicago City Council on Monday unanimously approved a new five-year contract with the city’s firefighters’ union.
The agreement calls for an 11.5 percent wage increase over the life of the contract, which ends in 2017.
“I think it was a fair contract for both sides,” Mayor Leon Rockingham said on Tuesday, Jan. 7. “Neither side got everything they wanted. But it’s an agreement we can both live with.”
The agreement contains other changes to compensation. Firefighters will now reach the top of their pay scale at nine years, faster than the previous 10 years. Under a new sick leave policy, an incentive of 72 hours pay will be awarded to firefighters who reach an excess of 560 hours with no hours used. Firefighters may accrue up to 1,440 hours of sick leave.
Illinois Association of Firefighters Local 3271 President Josh Monroe, a lieutenant in the North Chicago department, said the new agreement was ratified by the 30-member union on Dec. 10. The vote was 15-8.
“We, of course, want to work with the city, but at the same time, the economy is tough for everybody,” said Monroe, an 11-year veteran of the department.
Bargaining for the new contract, which replaces a four-year agreement that ended last year, began in May 2013.