Buffalo Grove, firefighters agree to new three-year deal
The Buffalo Grove village board approved a new three-year deal with its firefighters Monday that will give the union members a 2 percent raise next year.
Fire Chief Mike Baker called the deal a "status quo" renewal of the village's contract with International Association of Firefighters, Local 3177 that expired at the end of April.
The agreement contains a 2 percent pay increase for the firefighters, retroactive to May 1. Salary hikes in the last two years of the deal will be negotiated separately, according to village documents.
The minimum and starting annual salary is $61,674. After seven years of employment, firefighters can earn more than $100,500.
Baker said the number of available health plans dropped from three to two, one an HMO and another a PPO.
"Health care was a big issue," Baker said. "That process, at least from the fire department point of view, worked out very well. There was good dialogue. There were no real hang-ups. Nothing was contentious. It was a real good, cooperative working relationship between the village and Local 3177."
Union Vice President Lawrence Lezon agreed, saying the two sides worked together to reach an amicable agreement.
"The process went very smooth," he said. "There were some changes in health care, which we had anticipated."
Lezon said the membership approved the contract unanimously.
Trustee Jeffrey Berman called it a fair deal for both sides.
"Like (with) any negotiation, everybody gave a little more than they wanted to, everybody got a little less than they wanted to," Berman said.