Firefighting

Newport (RI) Firefighters Ratify New Union Contract

Members of the Newport firefighter’s union have ratified a new three-year contract through 2018 that the Newport City Council approved last week, reports Newport Patch (http://bit.ly/1TOy2RX)

The contract will give raises in each year beginning with a 2.25 percent raise retroactive to July 1 of this year and 2 percent in the second and third years respectively.

Firefighters agreed to significant changes to their benefits to compensate for the $398,329 increase caused by the raises, including a cap on vacation leave accrual for new hires and a cap on sick leave payouts. Those two changes alone are expected to save $192,000 per year.

Firefighters also agreed to the establishment of health savings accounts, higher deductible plans, retirees will make a 5 percent premium contribution and the drug cap is increased to $1,000.

In the end, according to a fiscal impact statement prepared by the city, the total cost savings from the contract is $457,424.