After months of negotiation, the City of Plattsburgh Mayor’s office and the Plattsburgh Professional Firefighters Local 2421 have reached a tentative four-year labor agreement. The agreement was approved by the City of Plattsburgh Common Council at the April 20th regular meeting. If approved by the union this agreement will be in effect between January 2023 through December 2026.
“The Firefighters who serve the City of Plattsburgh came to the table open minded and negotiated with good faith showing respect, honor, and admiration for all involved in the process,” says City of Plattsburgh Mayor, Christopher Rosenquest. “At the end of the day contract negotiations are a give and take. We all came in with a wishlist and we worked together to find common ground that ultimately serves the residents, businesses, and visitors in the City of Plattsburgh.”
This is the fourth union agreement settled by Rosenquest in his two year tenure. “Coming into office in 2021 there were two contracts that were so far out of cycle the City ended up owing millions in retroactive payouts.” Rosenquest adds, “When union contracts come due it’s imperative they’re negotiated in a timely manner. Doing so is critical to the city’s financial stability. My team has been able to address all of the City’s contracts in a fair and financially responsible way, lending to further stabilizing our municipal finances.”
After several months of progress, negotiations stalled and an impasse was declared. A mediator was assigned and just after two meetings a tentative agreement was reached to all party’s satisfaction. The finalized contract was presented to Council and approved at the April 20th regular meeting.
“No one at the table wants to get to a point where progress stalls; but it happens. Having a completely objective third-party come in to help each party see the bigger picture is sometimes necessary and welcomed,” notes Rosenquest. “In this case, it was worth the effort and vulnerability of all parties.”
This tentative agreement includes increases to base pay for entry level firefighters, incentives for EMT certifications, and adds a standard 1.5% increase to annual salaries. The cumulative increase to payroll is estimated at $225k for the four year agreement. The contract is set to expire December 2026.
In an effort to reduce the City’s overall prescription drug benefit costs, each union has adopted an agreement to increase the use of prescription drug mail order fulfillment as well as implement point-of-sale discounts for name-brand prescriptions. When fully implemented, the city-wide savings for prescription benefits will save the City upwards of $431k/year.