Government

Wheaton firefighters to get 2.5-percent raise as part of new contract

Wheaton City Council approves new 3-year agreement

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WHEATON – Wheaton firefighters and fire lieutenants will receive a 2.5-percent cost-of-living adjustment this year as part of a new three-year contract with the city.

At their July 2 meeting, Wheaton City Council members unanimously approved a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with Wheaton Firefighters Union 3706. The contract covers Wheaton firefighters and fire lieutenants.

The new contract, which will be in effect until April 30, 2021, is retroactive to May 1. The union ratified the agreement June 14. The previous contract expired April 30.

As part of the contract, firefighters and fire lieutenants also will receive cost-of-living increases of 2.25 percent in both 2019 and 2020.

In the new contract, firefighters will now be able to donate sick time to a fellow employee, as long as all eligibility requirements from the city employee manual are followed.

In addition, the maximum number of compensatory time hours that can be accumulated increased to 97 in the new contract, up from 73. Members of the collective bargaining unit can request a payout of their unused compensatory time for special circumstances one time per year. The payout must first be approved by the fire chief.

Wheaton City Manager Mike Dzugan said negotiations went smoothly.

"I want to give a shout-out and a thumbs-up to our chief and our human resources director, Holly Schulz, and our union team for all working together to get this agreement done without any attorneys," Dzugan said. "Nothing against the attorneys, but it shows they were working cooperatively to get this done."