Mount Prospect gives firefighters a 2% retention bonus

In a move aimed at the village's fire department fully staffed, Mount Prospect trustees have approved a one-time 2% "employee retention incentive" bonus for firefighters as part of a series of midyear budget amendments.

The bonus is in addition to 2.5% salary increases firefighters will this year and next under their contract with the village.

"When this agreement was signed, it was before the inflationary times, and we didn't have this inflationary pressure at the time," Finance Director Amit Thakkar said.

The bonus is based on October 2022 wages. It will cost the village $147,102 but will not impact pension expenses, Thakkar said.

Trustee Augie Filippone was the only village board member to vote against the bonus, expressing concern for the integrity of the labor negotiation process. He asked what would keep other employee groups, such as the police union, from asking for similar increases.

He said he was concerned with "equity and fairness," so that "we're not picking and choosing who we are going to reward."

Village Manager Michael Cassady, however, countered, saying, "What I heard was kindness, equity and fairness. And that's why we're here."

Cassady said the village has been consistent, giving 2% to its nonunion employees last year and building it into current police negotiations.

The bonus was part of a trio of midyear budget amendments that included $500,000 to allow the village to begin work on Phase II engineering for the Melas/Meadows pedestrian bridge and $100,000 for the Lead Service Line Replacement Program, which assists residents who wish to replace their water service lines.

Mount Prospect Village Trustee Augie Filippone
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