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updated: 12/21/2011 5:36 PM

Carpentersville inks deal with part-time firefighters

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Continuing a recent trend in Carpentersville in which unions negotiate contracts without the aid of attorneys until the very end, the part-time firefighters union has reached a deal with the village.

The village board approved a four-year contract Tuesday night with the 32 part-time firefighters who comprise the SEIU Local 73 union. It starts May 1, 2012, and runs through April 30, 2016.

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"We were able to sit down in two sessions, without attorneys on either side of the table," Fire Chief John Schuldt said.

As part of the deal, the part-time firefighters will receive a 1-percent raise the first year, no pay increase the second year, a 35-cent hourly raise the third year and a 40-cent hourly raise in the fourth year.

So a part-time firefighter with less than a year of service now making $13.73 an hour will make $13.87 an hour the first and second years of the contract, $14.22 an hour the third year and $14.62 an hour the final year.

Moreover, employees covered by the contract will receive extra pay for every full year of service they've worked up to Dec. 1 of every year. The limit is 20 years of service.

The amounts are $15 the first year of the contract, $25 the second year, $30 the third year and $40 in the contract's fourth year.

So someone who has completed one year of service will get $15 the first year, $50 the second year after two years of service, $90 the third year after three years of service and $160 the final year after four years of service.

Other bonuses include more money for their uniform allowances, depending on hours worked the previous year, and small hourly stipends for holding certain state certifications. They agreed to live within 40 miles of their coverage area instead of 10 miles and to reduced pay for holidays worked -- time-and-a-half, rather than double time -- a move that will save the village $20,591 throughout the life of the contract, documents show.

For its part, the village has agreed to provide life insurance coverage in the amount of $10,000 at no cost to the part-time firefighters.

The current agreement doesn't expire until April 30, 2012, so retroactive pay is not applicable. Signing off on the deal now also lets the village plan for it in the next budget -- the total financial impact is $44,915.

"This contract demonstrates the level of goodwill and trust between the parties, as it was accomplished five months before the current contract expires, and without lawyers and only two formal meetings," Village Manager J. Mark Rooney said in a statement.

Union president Perry Lynch could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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