Roseville/Placer News

Roseville, firefighters reach contract agreement

The city of Roseville and its firefighters union reached agreement on a contract Wednesday night, ending nearly a year of sometimes acrimonious negotiations.

The pact, approved by the City Council at its meeting this week, includes a 3 percent salary increase next year, a 2 percent deferred compensation payment for five-year veterans next year and a $24-a-month increase in medical benefits. The package will cost the city an additional $888,000 annually.

The 15-month agreement expires December 2016 and replaces an agreement that expired last December.

“We are gratified that our difficult negotiations produced a compromise that begins to provide firefighters with the compensation they deserve for performing a job that is vital to the health and safety of our community,” said Jamie Pepin, president of the Roseville Firefighters Union Local 1592.

In a written statement, the city manager’s office said the contract meets the city’s goal “of a fair and consistent compensation package for all city employees and ... further(s) the city’s fiscal goal of controlling pension costs.”

Cost-of-living increases for retirees hired after Aug. 15, 2015, will drop from 3 percent to 2 percent in line with other city employees. Fire Department retirees will also have to start contributions to a health care benefit plan.

Earlier this year, the union cited an impasse in negotiations as a reason for a public campaign urging the city to listen to its demands. The union hired a public relations consultant and put messages on billboards, signs and social media.

The city’s desire to cut pay and benefits were sticking points, Pepin said.

The city argued that Roseville firefighters have been paid higher than their counterparts in the region.