Naperville firefighters, working without a contract for the past four months, should soon sign a new agreement spelling out the terms of their employment for the next three years.
City Council members Tuesday evening will consider a collective bargaining agreement with International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4302, ending negotiations that began in January.
“The sessions were very productive wherein both the city and the union exchanged proposals and ultimately the parties have reached an agreement for council approval,” Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis wrote in a memo to the council.
The accord includes a 3 percent pay increase retroactive to May 1, another 1 percent taking effect May 1, 2014, and a 2 percent raise in the third year.
Also among the features of the proposed contract is an incentive payment suggested by representatives for the union, under which up to a dozen employees eligible for retirement would be offered an extra incentive for doing so by Dec. 31, 2013: one month’s salary or a year of medical insurance coverage paid by the city.
“This benefit would be a one-time deal and would be limited to 12 employees on a first-come-first-served basis,” Puknaitis wrote. “The limit of 12 employees ensures that there will not be any operational disruptions due to mass retirements.”
The option would save the city in both lower salary for new hires and reduced pension costs, because incoming firefighters are under the Tier II pension program. Puknaitis said the incentive would cost about $7,500 per retiree. If all 12 employees opt to retire, the city could save more than $496,000 in compensation and benefits expenses over the contract’s three-year duration.
If approved, the new agreement also will increase the experience pay given to firefighters in a lump sum when they pass 10, 15 and 20 years of service and the annual stipend given to paramedics at their 10- and 15-year milestones.
The Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at the Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., Naperville.