November 28, 2014

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North Ridgeville fire union votes on new contract

North Ridgeville Firefighters spray water on a burning barn in a 2009 fire. Firefighters on Wednesday were voting on a new contract. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

North Ridgeville Firefighters spray water on a burning barn in a 2009 fire. Firefighters on Wednesday were voting on a new contract. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Firefighters are voting on terms of a new contract that, if accepted, will end more than a year of bargaining with the city and avert a final decision reached during a conciliation hearing.

Fire Chief John Reese said Wednesday that the city’s firefighters are voting.

“It’s a tentative deal at this point, and we should know by Friday if they ratified it,” Reese said.

Firefighters are casting ballots on the proposed settlement by paper ballot at the main fire station on Avon Belden Road, Reese said.

City Law Director Andrew Crites credited the union with agreeing to speed up the voting process by allowing firefighters to vote as they work specific shifts, rather than wait to vote en masse at a membership meeting, which requires a 10-day notice.

Neither Reese nor Crites offered specific comment on terms of the settlement.

“The city is happy with the terms, and if it’s formally OK’d by the union, a contract will be on the Council floor Monday night,” Crites said.

Calls to Korey Stearns, president of Local 2129 of the International Association of Firefighters, were not returned Wednesday.

The union represents 34 firefighters.

Last week, the city indicated sessions with a conciliator were set to begin Monday, although Stearns indicated those meetings had been postponed to give the union’s attorney adequate time to finalize a preliminary report.

Contract talks, which began in October 2012, deadlocked over a proposed three-year package after City Council accepted the report of a Cleveland fact-finder, who sided with the city over proposed wage increases and other issues. Firefighters have been working without a contract since December 2012 when the last agreement expired.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.


  • stop ur whining

    every kid wants to be a fireman when the grow up and i finally understand why. Fireman work less than congress and receive great pay and an abundance of time off. their schedule permits them all having second jobs and in most cases they all get to switch shifts to obtain maximum OT in addition to their already great salary. they do all of this and then complain when their ot is cut and their salaries frozen throwing out the tag line “that they run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out” that is great, but how many calls per week? of those calls how many are fires? Police, i will give them funding all day everyday. Fire dept, way down the list work a little harder then ask for more money