Hoquiam Fire Department agreement will last through 2014
Late Thursday afternoon, additional details were announced by the City of Hoquiam and Hoquiam Firefighters Local 315 regarding the tentative agreement reached this week to avoid the loss of 4 employees.
4 firefighters were scheduled to work their last shifts with the city on Thursday, according to a release from both parties; this agreement allows the jobs to continue through 2014.
“The City is hopeful that the changes made to the handling of ambulance transfers will result in enough increased revenue to get the City back to a balanced budget by year end,” said City Administrator Brian Shay. “This agreement is a good start to collectively address a long term solution to our serious budget problems.”
Negotiations were already scheduled to be held on Wednesday following a 30 day notice by the City regarding the reduction.
“The Hoquiam Firefighters are extremely pleased to have worked in conjunction with City Officials, coming to a tentative agreement that will both settle the grievance filed by the Local as well as save the four positions that had been given layoff notices,” said Firefighters Local President Doug Stankavich. “We all know there is much work to be done in the near future to find viable ways to maintain the staffing and service levels we currently offer the citizens of Hoquiam.”
According to Stankavich, the agreement will not be ratified until their regular meeting on Tuesday.
“I am really proud of our administrative staff and the members of our Fire Department who sat down and came to an agreement that avoids the laying off of 4 great employees,” said Mayor Jack Durney. “I believe we have started to mend relationships and are ready to start having a serious dialogue about how we fund public safety.”
The positions were scheduled to be eliminated due to a drop in service calls and the resulting funding to the department, according to the City.