The Pleasanton City Council is set to discuss the proposed tentative agreement between Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department and the local firefighters union at a special meeting on Tuesday.
The proposed labor contract, which was ratified by the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1974 on June 18, includes 13% worth of general wage increases spread over 3-1/2 years, a paramedic premium increase pay from 8% to 10%, short-term staffing policies, and a comprehensive drug- and alcohol-testing policy.
The Pleasanton council will review the proposed deal on Tuesday but will not take a vote on whether to approve the contract until its July 19 regular meeting. The Livermore City Council was scheduled to vote on the agreement as part of the consent calendar at its regular meeting Monday evening.
When the contract term between LPFD and Local 1974 ended in December, a month-long negotiation took place to work out the specifics of the new agreement that would expire on June 30, 2025.
In March, the union declared an impasse rejecting LPFD's offer of a 12.5% pay increase over the 3-1/2-year contract for firefighter-paramedics and a 10.5% general wage increase for everyone else, among other benefits.
In the new tentative agreement, employees will see a 5.5% increase in their salary starting the first full pay period after the contract is approved. In 2023, the increase will be 3.5%, followed by a 3% increase the next year and a 1% increase in 2025 -- to get to the full 13%.
According to Transparent California, a database that lists the compensation of public employees in California, the average salary for firefighter-paramedics in the LPFD is between $110,000 and $115,000 a year.
If the contract is ratified, the average pay would go up to a maximum of $121,680, according to the Pleasanton city staff report. By the end of 2025, that number would go up to $131,019. Employees would advance one salary step in their respective jobs until they reach the top step of the applicable salary range.
The three-year financial impact to the LPFD budget is approximately $6.57 million through June 2025 and will be shared between Livermore and Pleasanton, according to the staff report.
Other pay-related changes in the contract are the bilingual and education incentive pay. Those who are fluent in multiple languages will receive $45 per pay period and employees who complete courses to get degrees will get an incentive pay monthly ranging from $100 to $175 depending on which degrees they obtain.
Along with these changes in pay, there will also be a new drug- and alcohol-testing policy that all employees will be subject to on certain occasions such as reasonable suspicion, following an accident and returning to duty.
Those looking to join the department must also test and would be denied employment if they refuse. If a current employee refuses to test, they would be treated as testing positive and can face being fired or disciplined.
The special meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Tuesday (June 28). Residents can read the full agenda here.
In other business
The council will review a draft to update the current "City Council Rules and Operating Procedures," which were last revised in 1995.
These rules and procedures are meant to clarify the process for how city council meetings are conducted.
Some of the main updates in this draft are changes in public participation, clarifying agenda order, simplifying parliamentary motions and voting, as well as the process for appointments for boards and commissions, according to city staff.
Examples of these changes are how the mayor will be given the power to appoint the vice mayor and that public commenters can remain anonymous and don't have to fill out all the information on a speaker card.
"The stated purpose of those written procedures included: more effective public participation; consistency, equity, and due process in establishing public policy; and the proper conduct of the business of the City Council is vital for the well-being of the community," the city staff report reads.
These draft rules are modeled after similar practices by Livermore and Sunnyvale and reflect current state law, city staff said.
The council will provide comments and offer possible changes at Tuesday's meeting and if there are any modifications, the item will return for adoption at a future meeting. The council may also adopt the draft if no substantive changes are needed.