Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

A new three-year contract with the Arlington Heights firefighters union was negotiated in a day and a half and without lawyers present, village and union officials say.

The labor agreement, ratified by the union in December and unanimously approved by the village board this week, awards the 99 members of Arlington Heights Firefighters Association Local 3105 raises of 3.5% this year, 3% in 2024 and 3.2% in 2025.

Annual base salaries range from $74,290 for a new firefighter on the first step of the salary schedule to $133,010 for a fire lieutenant on the seventh step.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, and the (union) … has been the utmost professional local that I’ve ever worked with,” Fire Chief Lance Harris told the village board Tuesday night. “The support that you give us, the support that the village gives them, and the support that I try and provide them, we’ve earned their trust. And I can tell you, talking to the fire chiefs on a monthly basis, nobody settles their contracts on a day and a half of negotiations.”

Steve Schwartz, president of the local union, said the brief period of negotiations “speaks volumes to where we’re at,” describing a relationship of mutual trust and respect with the village staff and the fire department administration.

For agreeing to a new contract before the old one expired Jan. 1, firefighters received a $600 signing bonus. They also got a onetime $500 bonus in recognition for working diligently during the pandemic.

The new contract also comes with one more paid holiday, a revised fire lieutenant promotion testing process, and a new employee-only contribution retiree health savings account, in light of impending retirements.

The agreement runs through 2025.

thanks Rob

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