News

Livermore-Pleasanton firefighters reach new labor contract agreement with department

Terms include 13% wage increase, new short-term staffing and drug testing policies

The Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department (LPFD) and the local firefighters union have agreed on a tentative labor contract that includes a 13% general wage increase, Pleasanton City Manager Gerry Beaudin told the Weekly Thursday.

LPFD logo.

The increase will spread over the term of the contract, which expires June 30, 2025. The previous contract term between LPFD and Fire Fighters Local 1974 was from July 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2021.

Additionally, firefighter-paramedics, engineers and captains who choose to maintain their paramedic certifications after promotion will be compensated. Bilingual pay and increased education incentive pay are also included in the deal.

"The bargaining team believes that the proposed contract is consistent with the cities’ objective to ensure our firefighters are well-paid, well-trained and safe," Beaudin said.

At the time of writing, union president Joe McThorn had not responded to a request for comment.

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Labor negotiations began last year ahead of the previous contract's expiration. In March of this year the union declared an impasse, which marked the union's rejection of LPFD's offer of a 12.5% pay increase over the 3.5-year contract for firefighter-paramedics and a 10.5% general wage increase for everyone else, among other benefits.

The union also originally rejected a proposed drug testing policy, which led to a mediation process where Beaudin said a handful of topics including that policy were discussed.

"The bargaining teams were able to find agreement on all of them," he said. "Membership from Local 1974 had the opportunity to review the language and their vote to approve resulted in the tentative agreement."

As part of the contract, Beaudin said the department will implement a comprehensive drug and alcohol testing policy, a short-term staffing policy and a method for future policy changes that are not covered in the agreement.

Although the contract was ratified on June 18, both Pleasanton and Livermore city councils will hold their own respective meetings next week to review the labor contract for approval -- Livermore on Monday (June 27) and Pleasanton on Tuesday (June 28).

The Pleasanton City Council will hear the item at its June 28 special meeting but will not take a vote until its July 19 regular meeting.

"We are proud of our firefighters and the services they provide to our communities," Beaudin said. "Under the leadership of Chief (Joe) Testa, we look forward to the future of the department and a positive and productive partnership with our firefighters to continue to provide the exceptional services our communities so richly deserve."

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Christian Trujano
 
Christian Trujano, a Bay Area native and San Jose State alum, joined Embarcadero Media in May 2022 following his graduation. He is an award-winning student journalist who has covered stories in San Jose ranging from crime to higher education. Read more >>

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Livermore-Pleasanton firefighters reach new labor contract agreement with department

Terms include 13% wage increase, new short-term staffing and drug testing policies

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 23, 2022, 1:30 pm

The Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department (LPFD) and the local firefighters union have agreed on a tentative labor contract that includes a 13% general wage increase, Pleasanton City Manager Gerry Beaudin told the Weekly Thursday.

The increase will spread over the term of the contract, which expires June 30, 2025. The previous contract term between LPFD and Fire Fighters Local 1974 was from July 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2021.

Additionally, firefighter-paramedics, engineers and captains who choose to maintain their paramedic certifications after promotion will be compensated. Bilingual pay and increased education incentive pay are also included in the deal.

"The bargaining team believes that the proposed contract is consistent with the cities’ objective to ensure our firefighters are well-paid, well-trained and safe," Beaudin said.

At the time of writing, union president Joe McThorn had not responded to a request for comment.

Labor negotiations began last year ahead of the previous contract's expiration. In March of this year the union declared an impasse, which marked the union's rejection of LPFD's offer of a 12.5% pay increase over the 3.5-year contract for firefighter-paramedics and a 10.5% general wage increase for everyone else, among other benefits.

The union also originally rejected a proposed drug testing policy, which led to a mediation process where Beaudin said a handful of topics including that policy were discussed.

"The bargaining teams were able to find agreement on all of them," he said. "Membership from Local 1974 had the opportunity to review the language and their vote to approve resulted in the tentative agreement."

As part of the contract, Beaudin said the department will implement a comprehensive drug and alcohol testing policy, a short-term staffing policy and a method for future policy changes that are not covered in the agreement.

Although the contract was ratified on June 18, both Pleasanton and Livermore city councils will hold their own respective meetings next week to review the labor contract for approval -- Livermore on Monday (June 27) and Pleasanton on Tuesday (June 28).

The Pleasanton City Council will hear the item at its June 28 special meeting but will not take a vote until its July 19 regular meeting.

"We are proud of our firefighters and the services they provide to our communities," Beaudin said. "Under the leadership of Chief (Joe) Testa, we look forward to the future of the department and a positive and productive partnership with our firefighters to continue to provide the exceptional services our communities so richly deserve."

Comments

Michael
Registered user
Willow West
on Jun 23, 2022 at 2:34 pm
Michael , Willow West
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2022 at 2:34 pm

FIREFIGHTERS NEW CONTRACT. When the contract is ratified and in effect will the Weekly show the changes, in detail, to the new contract for transparency and as community information.


Pton Resident
Registered user
Foothill High School
on Jun 23, 2022 at 5:32 pm
Pton Resident, Foothill High School
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2022 at 5:32 pm

I agree, Michael. Percentages mean nothing unless we have the numbers to go along with them. I have not once seen the Weekly report any solid figures of what firefighters are paid -- the scale, average pay, average overtime. Nothing. Sadly, this is incredibly weak reporting. These figures are public information. The Weekly should have those numbers in every story it writes about negotiations. That's basic journalism.


wogguts
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 23, 2022 at 10:26 pm
wogguts, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2022 at 10:26 pm

Some Numbers from city budget.
Pleasanton Budget:
Web Link

Page 64: $23,611,460 projected budget FY22/23
Page 67: 63.75 full time equivalents
Works out to $370,376 per FTE.

Police
Page 64 (split across 5 lines) $34,592,526
Page 67: 118.50 full time equivalents. no breakout of uniformed vs office headcount.
works out to $293,157 FTE.


Pensions discussed on page 8 but it's ambiguous. Looks like they're planning for using reserves to pay increased contribution requirements 2027-2030. Probably depends on Calpers adjusting their assumed rate of return.

My personal opinion is police officer is more stressful and dangerous than firefighter so total compensation should be noticeably higher. In fairness, the police likely have more admin and support staff reducing the average FTE comp.


For comparison, Dublin fire budget FY22/23 is $16,154,987, contracted out to Alameda County FD. Page G-46.
Web Link


Jeremy Walsh, editor
Registered user
another community
on Jun 23, 2022 at 11:13 pm
Jeremy Walsh, editor, another community
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2022 at 11:13 pm

We understand readers want more specific details on public employee compensation data in these stories on new labor contracts, and we'll work to obtain accurate information to share in future coverage of this ongoing story and others. While take-home pay is an important part of that discussion, the full picture of employee compensation (and the full, actual cost to the public agency) is more complex and harder to articulate with specificity despite some of the sourcing cited in these comments. We'll push to find the most accurate numbers to place this contract – and others, such as teachers – into better context.

Of course I would very much disagree with the notion that our initial story to break the news of a settlement to potentially end this long and tense labor dispute is "incredibly weak reporting," but I'll always respectfully review all anonymous criticism of our work.


Erlinda
Registered user
Danbury Park
on Jun 24, 2022 at 11:40 am
Erlinda , Danbury Park
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2022 at 11:40 am

Increase in salaries and wages here in Try Valley for firefighters I think is very much needed than making new highways and streets.
And also the public must help or do something to prevent fires like avoid traffic coz it creates too much heat, control industrial and offices air cons coz they blows heat a lot, and most largely those airplanes heats up to way more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Those things that blows heat are causing to dry up our bushes and trees. When the summer heat comes we have fires all over as what we have now fires everywhere.
And fires are drying up our water reservoirs.
The public must help.
Approve increase salaries.


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