(The Center Square) – The city of Seattle and the International Association of FireFighters Local 27 have agreed upon a new five-year contract that increases wages for 974 active and 292 former regularly appointed city employees in the Seattle Fire Department.

The wage increases based on the Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area, as well as additional pay premiums and other benefits. New pay increases will include a retroactive 2022 increase of 4.5% and a 2.5% increase for 2023.

According to a fiscal note, the total cost of implementing retroactive wage adjustments in 2022 through 2023 is estimated to be $22.3 million. In 2024, the additional budget needed to fully fund all positions under these titles is $21.4 million. In total, estimated costs for 2022 through 2026 are $106.6 million.

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“This is money well spent to support our firefighters and fire employees – who put themselves in harm’s way everyday,” Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold said at Tuesday's city council meeting.

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed the collective bargaining agreement in its council meeting.

The new collective bargaining agreement also includes provisions related to health care plan contributions, uniform allowance, shift extensions and paid holidays.

Seattle Fire Department employees working outside of regular hours will be hired for overtime or assigned work for a minimum of four hours. Employees participating in virtual meetings will be paid for actual time worked, rounded up to the next half hour.

Local 27 members will also be allowed a maximum of 16 hours per year of required off-shift training related to human resources or leadership topics.

“This is a fair contract for Seattle fire fighters and Paramedics that recognizes our service and commitment to the city of Seattle,” Local 27 President Kenny Stuart said in a statement. “It will provide stability for firefighters and our city so we can focus on our mission.”

Seattle will work with Local 27 to create additional training programs to support advancement and opportunities for paramedic field training and medical service officers, and captains preparing for promotion to battalion chief.

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