“We got 8 percent (wage increases) spread over four years and we were able to get percent increases for command officers,” said Marc Abdilla, Van Buren Firefighters Association President. “The Employer increased their percent into our retirement by 2 percent. We got the only full-time employee’s information to mirror other full-time employees in the area ... with time off and tuition reimbursement. They increased his banks and his ability to cash out three days per year. We went from four employees to five every shift (adding) one supervisor per shift. Jerald (James) did a great job and MAFF did a great job for us. We appreciate it.”

Contract Duration: 4-year agreement, ratified Dec. 14, 2018, and effective 1-1-18 to 12-31-21.

Wage Increases:
3% increase effective Jan. 1, 2018.
3% increase effective Jan. 1, 2019.
1% increase effective Jan. 1, 2020.
1% increase effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Plus Step Increases by Title:
Sergeants receive 1% additional increase above Fire Fighters.
Lieutenants receive 3% additional increase above Sergeants.
Captains receive 5% additional increase above Lieutenants.
Battalion Chiefs receive 8% additional increase above Captains.

• Signing Bonus of $300 for full-time Employees and $250 for Paid-on-Call Employees.

Fringe Benefits: The only full-time Employee, the Fire Marshal received increases in Funeral Leave from two days to five days for any close family member. The Fire Marshal’s Comp Time bank cap was raised. It was previously capped at 48 hours and now up to 72 hours can be banked. Fire Marshal’s Sick Time increased from 6 to 8 hours per month and 3 unused days can be cashed out annually. Tuition reimbursement of up to $3,300 annually was added and will be available to other members if they become full-time Employees.

Manning & Safety: Staffing increased from four Employees to five Employees for both 12-hours shifts, providing a Supervisor position for both shifts.

Retirement Benefits: Employer contribution to pensions increased from 6% to 8%.

Bargaining Team: MAFF Labor Relations Specialist Jerald James, Van Buren Fire Fighters Association President Marc Abdilla and Vice President Ken Floro.