Detroit City Council approves salary increases and reduced working weeks for firefighters
Detroit – Detroit City Council on Tuesday approved pay increases and a reduced workweek for the city’s firefighters and paramedics.
Approval comes according to city and labor officials An agreement was reached earlier this month To put 1,118 firefighters and paramedics under a five-year contract with the Detroit Fire Fighters Association.
The resolution, tabled by District 2 Councilor Roy McCalister Jr., was passed without discussion, along with several other city treaties.
Mayor Mike Duggan, Executive Fire Commissioner Eric Jones and DFFA President Thomas Gehart announced the agreement on July 9th, which includes a 2% to 4% pay increase for all members and a reduced working week from 49 hours to 42 hours.
The deal provides for a 3% annual wage increase for DFFA employees; a 4% increase for fire / EMT classifications; a 2% increase for employees with a paramedic license; and a 1% increase for employees with an EMT license.
The union members ratified the contract by 502 to 94 votes. The current DFFA contract expired on June 30, 2020. The new provisional contract is effective immediately and ends on June 30, 2026.
Duggan noted earlier this month that the city and the union have reached an agreement to ensure rescue workers are recognized for their sacrifices and contributions.
“This contract will allow us to build on the progress we have made in improving our response time and helping our employees tackle high-demand jobs,” the mayor said earlier this month.
Under the contract, DFFA members will be offered EMT training by the city and training will be incorporated into the work schedule without affecting members’ availability to respond to emergencies.
In July, 779 firefighters from 33 fire departments are on duty.
EMS carries out 58,000 rescue trips every year, while firefighters carry out 25,000 fire-fighting trips. Firefighters also make 15,000 medical first responders a year, city officials said.
The pay increases, Duggan said, compensate for the extra work.
In March, Duggan vowed that the city would provide mental health services to firefighters who have suffered additional stress in recent years after completing their medical first-aid training. The promise came after that two alleged drunk driving Firefighters in a single week in which a sergeant crashed a police vehicle.
Detroit launched its medical first responder program in 2014 to reduce emergency response times. Previously, Detroit was one of the few major fire departments in the country without trained firefighters. Detroit has been running its medical first aid company during a two and a half year transition period.
At that time, the emergency response time in Detroit was between 16 and 18 minutes; from this month onwards it corresponded to the national average of 8 minutes according to the city.
Under the contract, firefighters, rescue workers and paramedics will man fire equipment and ambulances. It also offers EMT personnel the opportunity to become firefighters.