Labor agreement set pay for firefighters, maintenance workers

rpulley@lsjournal.comApril 23, 2014 

Lee’s Summit in 2012 reached agreements with laborers and firefighters unions.

Deputy City Manager Brian Scott said the prominent issue for laborers in the Public Works and Water Utilities departments was job security. They are members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 778.

That agreement has some minor wage increases, he said, but significantly addressed issues like dismissal with just cause and arbitration. Scott said the city kept strong management rights allowing it to define its “mission” the number of personnel required and operations decisions.

The IAM agreement changed the four job classifications for laborers from four to two: maintenance worker and equipment operator.

Scott said that in the field there had been many instances of employees working out of grade due to circumstances, which was difficult and expensive to manage, so the change is an advantage for management and workers.

The broader grades helped the city address training opportunity for employees which were important to members, Scott said.

Other job classifications were mechanic and scale house attendant.

Under the agreement, equipment operators got a raise to a pay range of $16.86 to $24 an hour, maintenance workers get about $13.67 to $21.34. Mechanics earn from $16.09 to $24.01 plus an additional 10 cents per hour for certifications up to $1. Scale house attendants earn $12.55 to a max of $20.17. Employees at the top of their range can get merit increases.

The firefighters, with International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2195, also got small increases in its pay scale 2012, with adjustments to bring the wages of long-time firefighters in line with new base pay.

A firefighter’s beginning wage went from $37,143 to $37,626 and the maximum went from $49,794 to $52,338. A fire captain II went from $52,471 to $58,134 for the first grade and $70,444 to $85,747 for the maximum.

Those with 20 years of service got 2 percent, those with 15 years got 1.5 percent and those with 10 years of service got 1 percent increase.

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