By ASHLEY HELMS
The Town of Mamaroneck Professional Fire Fighters Union has ratified a new contract, which will be in effect until the end of December 2015.
The agreement calls for a slight increase in wages over the duration of the deal, with union members receiving a 1.75 percent increase in pay retroactive to 2012 and for 2013. In 2014 and 2015, that increase moves to 2.25 percent. The new contract is retroactive dating back to Jan. 1, 2012 and will expire on Dec. 31, 2015.
“We looked at competitive salaries and local areas,” Town Administrator Steve Altieri said.
The union’s 14 members have been without a contract since the end of 2011.
For pension and health insurance benefits, any firefighter hired after Jan. 1, 2012, will be included in the state Tier 6 pension and healthcare system. This means that, for the first two years of employment, firefighters will contribute 10 percent of their income to their healthcare benefits. After three to five years, the contribution will increase to 15 percent. “[The firefighters] will continue to make that contribution as long as they’re active employees,” Altieri said. The increase in contribution effects only new members.
Firefighters have been contributing to their healthcare plans since 1994, but, in 2012, a new system of contributions was enacted to accomplish savings for the town. Also included in the state’s Tier 6 system is a provision for changes to pension contributions based on salary.
The lowest pension contribution for a firefighter is 3 percent and the highest is 6 percent, Altieri said.
The unincorporated Town of Mamaroneck has about 70 volunteer fire fighters in addition to 14 paid fire fighters. The villages of Larchmont and Mamaroneck have their own fire departments, with the Village of Mamaroneck operating on a completely volunteer basis.
A stipend will be given to the fire union members for completing emergency medical service training, for which all firefighters require certification. According to Altieri, the stipend will be about $1,500 starting this year.
“That is not a reflection of salary, it covers the fact that firefighters must maintain certification,” Altieri said.
The Town of Mamaroneck is in the midst of contract negotiations with its Sanitation Department as well, according to Town Clerk Christina Battalia. The department is currently operating under an expired contract, the only remaining town union without a new contract.
Calls to the Town of Mamaroneck Fire Depart-
ment were not returned as of press time.