MOU Ratification

MOU Ratification

Phoenix Members,

I trust this email finds you well. I am reaching out to provide you with crucial updates concerning recent developments in Negotiations, along with significant progress outside of Negotiations made around Class and Comp that has been underway for several months.

As many of you are aware, the rollout of the Class and Comp structure last year did not meet our expectations. Regrettably, some members were bypassed in seniority, and their compensation did not adequately reflect certifications such as special operations Team Pay and Paramedic qualifications. Over the past months, Local 493, City HR, and Fire HR have diligently collaborated to rectify these discrepancies. Despite our efforts, finding a solution that did not exacerbate existing issues proved elusive.

However, I am pleased to announce that late last week, the city has agreed to implement substantial improvements and adjustments to our Class and Comp structure. These changes are poised to positively impact hundreds of our members and their families.

The city has agreed to implement these solutions independently of the current negotiations, and they will take effect Prior to July 1st, 2024. You can review how these changes will impact you by [clicking here to view]. *If you do not have changes listed next to your employee ID number than these changes would not affect you immediately, however, because of the significant structural changes, I do believe it positively affects everyone who plans to either promote or acquire a discipline/certification in the future. One thing that is important to note is, per our membership’s priority listed on the Survey we sent out, Class and Comp adjustments was your single biggest concern.

As we move forward with negotiations, it's clear from the budget report [click here to view budget report on YouTube] that the city does not have the funds to agree to our requested proposals, and because of our City’s Pattern Bargaining practice, this is the case for all units for 16,000 employees city wide. However, there is one time money on the table in the first year, as well as agreements we have made that are beneficial to our membership and do not come with a cost. Those can be seen at bottom of this post. In addition to the one-time money in the first year, the language we’ve secured, and the Rescue Side agreement, there is a “Re-Opener” in the second year of the contract that would allow us to open Negotiations again in February of 2025, in the event the City’s revenues are better than expected.
*Please know that “night pay” is not being eliminated in the proposal by the city. Their proposal strikes it in Section 1 (new items - was new last year), but it continues to live in Article 3 of the proposed MOU. Only way we could lose that is if it is taken away as part of an imposed contract if we do not ratify what is on the table.

We will be presenting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for you all to vote on (Ratify). This is your decision entirely. We want to offer you the opportunity to accept the terms and agreements we have negotiated or to potentially pursue other avenues, such as bringing the fight to a city council meeting where a contract would be imposed on us. To be clear, having a contract imposed could result in the loss of both protected language as well as monetary benefits that are important to all of us.

To ensure you have all the necessary information, we will be hosting three informational Zoom calls (1300 on 4/1, 0900 on 4/2, and 1300 on 4/3) with the negotiations team, including myself, prior to the ratification meetings. If you would like to attend these Zoom meetings, please click [here to sign up]. You will receive a link via email you provide 48 hours before the meeting starts.

During the ratification meetings at the American Italian Club (0900 4/15 & 0900 4/16), we will follow Atwood’s Rules for Meetings as directed by our by-laws to handle voting. The member survey indicated that a preference for voting is by secret ballot. With this direction we will make a motion at the meetings to conduct a ballot box vote and if the motion passes, all members will be allowed to sign in and vote on a ballot at both meetings. We will keep voting open until noon both days. Your vote is crucial, and a 2/3 majority is required for the contract to be Ratified.

I understand the frustrations many of you may be feeling, and I share your concerns. Our city has grown significantly with our Fire Department needs not being prioritized to meet this growth. We have seen what has taken priority for funding in the city of Phoenix during this time and we cannot continue to take a backseat. Many things are in the works to address this, and it is vital that you attend the Zoom meetings and/or the ratification meetings to fully understand the implications of our decision when we vote. Please bring any specific questions or concerns to the Zoom calls, and I'll do my best to address them.

Ultimately, the decision rests with you, the members. Your participation and engagement in this process are essential. Together, we can ensure that our voices are heard, and your needs are addressed.

We are committed to ensuring fairness and equity within our organization, and these adjustments signify a significant step towards achieving that goal. Your dedication and perseverance throughout this process have been invaluable, and I extend my heartfelt appreciation to each one of you.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please see below for links to documents pertinent to these issues.

Bryan Willingham
President, Local 493.

Click on Item below to view:
City Council Budget Report
Spreadsheet of Class & Comp Fixes
All accepted proposals for new MOU (to be voted on)
Local 493 Financial Proposals (not accepted)

*We have also submitted proposals to enable 48/96 to be easier to facilitate and those have not been accepted. If this MOU is ratified the limit starting in July will be 45. Only way this number will change is if we get a contract imposed on us which would open all language in the contract for the city to change. For specific questions on this topic please come to the Zoom meetings.

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