At its meeting on Wednesday, the Bloomington city council approved a four-year collective bargaining agreement with International Association of Fire Fighters Local 586 that runs through 2024.
For a firefighter first class, the agreement calls for a 1-percent raise in 2021 to $54,625 in base pay. A 2-percent raise each year after that, through 2024, brings a firefighter’s base pay to $57,969.
According to a memo from the city’s corporation counsel, Philippa Guthrie, the city will be compensating firefighters by a total of about $2 million more, over the four-year term of the contract.
At the city council’s public safety committee review of the contract on Dec. 9, one concern raised by councilmember Jim Sims was about the diversity of the fire department. Fire chief Jason Moore reported a current department profile of about 5 percent women, and between 3 to 4 percent Black and or people of color.
Moore said that the department is working to recruit a more diverse pool of applicants, in part by supporting the Hoosier Hills Career Center in the Monroe County Community School Corporation and the Ivy Tech fire science program.
The numbers reported by Moore square up with the 2018 numbers in the department’s diversity profile that is available through the city’s B Clear data portal.
Translating the 2018 percentages into numbers, five out of 109 BFD employees in 2018 were women, two were Black, five were veterans and 25 had bachelor’s degrees. The average age was about 44 and they had an average of about 15 years of service. Continue reading “City council OKs contract with Bloomington firefighters, different longevity pay a highlight”