Firefighters get new, 4-year contract
FAIRFIELD — A new, four-year contract with firefighters was approved uanimously Monday by the Representative Town Meeting.
The contract increases firefighter contributions for health care and pensions starting in 2018, and provides a 2 percent salary bump in the last three years of the contract. There is no salary increase for the first year of the contract, which runs through June, 2021.
One RTM member, Hannah Gale, D-6, abstained from the vote because she was not comfortable with new contract language that makes certain health screenings mandatory.
Under the agreement, all firefighters must have a cardiac stress test at age 40, and then every three years; a colonoscopy at age 40, and then as required by treating physician; a low-dose helical chest scan at age 40, a PSA test at age 40 for males, and a mammogram for women at age 40.
“I have a problem with consent being taken away from them,” Gale said. Other than Gale, there was basically no discussion on the contract agreement, a departure from previous years.
The contract also requires that any firefighters hired after the contract’s ratification agree that chewing tobacco or smoking is prohibited so long as they are employed by the town. The first offense would bring a warning, while a subsequent offense would result in termination.
Pension contributions by firefighters would increase by .25 percent in 2018, 2018, and 2020. The employee health care contribution, currently at 13 percent, bumps up 1 percent each year through 2020.
The contract covers 97 members and the agreement will increase total base salaries from $7.95 million in 2018 to $8.42 million by 2021.