Excerpts from the ChicagoTriubune.com:

Firefighters in Waukegan will receive 2 percent pay increases over each of the next three years under a pact approved this week by a unanimous City Council vote.

The terms of the new contract did, however, elicit some reservations voiced by 1st Ward Ald. Sam Cunningham, who expressed concerns about the big-picture impact of several recent employee-salary hikes on the city’s overall bottom line.

At one point, Cunningham pointed out that the council had just heard complaints from residents on the far west side’s River Road corridor about property tax increases in the 40 percent range.

According to Mayor Wayne Motley, the city’s pact with the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 473 (IAFF) is effective retroactively to March 1 of this year and runs through April 30, 2018. Along with the 2 percent increases for all union firefighters, the deal includes a 1 percent increase for those reaching 15 years with the department.

Earlier this year, the city agreed on new contracts that included 2 percent salary hikes with the Metropolitan Alliance of Police (MAP), which represents sergeants on the Waukegan Police Department, and the Waukegan Police Benevolent Labor Committee (PBLC), which represents the city’s patrol officers.

In addition, the city announced in April that all 62 management and non-union municipal employees would receive a 2 percent raise, a cost estimated at the time to be $75,000 in the first year.

The increases come after employee unions agreed to financial and other concessions during the recession, and non-union employees saw their salaries frozen for more than three years starting in 2009. In October 2012, the council enacted a four-year freeze on the salaries for the mayor, city clerk and treasurer.