posted on January 06, 2017 10:52
During its Thurs., Jan. 5 meeting, the Lee’s Summit City Council approved a labor agreement by and between the City and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) culminating months of contract talks and negotiations between City staff and union representatives.
“The City is committed to providing reliable and valuable municipal services to our community. This can only be achieved by retaining highly professional and dedicated employees. We continue to fulfill this commitment through the recent agreement with IAFF. The IAFF agreement is based upon a positive working relationship and their willingness to understand our long-term organizational needs,” said Lee’s Summit City Manager Arbo.
Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads added, “The dedication of employees to provide service excellence are among the standout qualities setting us apart locally, regionally and nationally. That’s why this community is considered the Best Place to Live in Missouri and one of the best places to live in the country.”
The proposed contract provides a one-time salary adjustment for 124 IAFF members at an annual cost of approximately $862,000, which includes a $2,000 increase to the paramedic stipend. With the inclusion of the wage adjustment and benefits for chief officers, the total cost of the one-time salary adjustment is approximately $1.2 million. The funding for the newly approved IAFF contract is partially possible through an increase in revenue growth due to improved economic conditions and other related factors.
The new contract will become effective on Sat., Jan. 14.
The City has focused on building capacity for its public safety services to keep up with residential and commercial growth. In fact, the City has increased the number of authorized and budgeted public safety personnel from 309 to 357 full-time employees since 2006. This was achieved during a very challenging economy that caused a reduction in revenues both in property and sales taxes.
“We are fortunate to attract and retain outstanding, dedicated employees throughout our organization. In particular, the Lee’s Summit Fire Department has helped the City become among the national leaders in respect to the quality of life achieved through emergency services and fire prevention provided to the community,” said City Manager Arbo. This excellence is among the contributing factors in the department becoming an accredited agency with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International in 2016. Lee’s Summit is one of only about 10 cities in the United States that has four major departments that have achieved full accreditation.
The City understands and acknowledges that in order to remain one of the best; the organization must continue to provide competitive compensation/benefits programs that can be fiscally supported by the community on a long-term basis. “This is a commitment by our leadership team to the entire employee base, both those who have chosen to be represented and those who have chosen not to be represented,” he said.
On a corporate level, the City leadership has to balance the financial sustainability while providing an attractive compensation program to all municipal employees. “The City was able to accomplish this while improving its position to adapt to ever-changing environments regarding personnel policies, state and federal employment guidelines,” said City Manager Arbo.
To meet the future expectations of our citizens, the City needs the ability to adapt to these changing environments creating accountability for the services we provide to the community. The IAFF agreement, he said, is a positive step in this direction.
For more information, contact the City’s Administration Department at 816.969.1010.