March 9, 2019

Mallory Herrmann

The city has approved three labor agreements with the International Association of Fire Fighters Local #2195 (IAFF), the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #50 (FOP) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge #778 (IAM).

The agreements each create a new step plan pay system, designed to streamline job classifications and allow for additional promotion opportunities as appropriate. They also include increases in pay ranges to be more reflective of market rates.

In addition, IAFF members negotiated for a scheduling change that would have sworn members on shift working 48 consecutive hours followed by 96 hours of leave.

The annual cost for adjustments with the fire department is expected to be about $834,000 annually. The department will use three classifications – fire fighter, fire engineer and captain – and those with a paramedic license will have an additional designation on the pay scale. A step plan pay system has also been implemented for communication and lead communication specialists in the dispatch center.

The police department will use two classifications (police officer and sergeant), with an expected annual cost of nearly $1.28 million for the adjustments.

The annual cost for these adjustments for IAM, including salary and benefits costs, is expected to total nearly $290,000.

The labor contracts with the IAFF and FOP will both be in effect through March 2021. The contract with IAM will last until 2022.

City staff and the city council took time to thank both the city employees who will be affected by these agreements and all of the stakeholders who supported the process to get the agreements approved.

Steve Arbo, city manager, noted that it had been a long and tedious process, but that everyone wanted to achieve the best result.

“I want to start off thanking, Mayor, you and the city council, for your constant support and dialogue,” Arbo said.

Mayor Bill Baird returned the sentiment, saying that Arbo had done a “fantastic job,” particularly in getting the agreements completed at the end.

Nicole Walters, president of the Lee’s Summit Police Officers Association, said that it had been a long, hard road, with the FOP initially requesting to begin labor contract negotiations in July 2017. She thanked the mayor, council and city staff for all their work to get them to this point.

“Although things still need some work, you have committed to taking a big step toward improving overall employee compensation,” Walters said. “I ask that you continue to plan for and maintain an effective compensation strategy and commit to making employees a priority from this point forward.”

The agreements were presented as emergency ordinances to the city council, which allowed for two readings at the same meeting.

All three agreements were approved with unanimous votes in favor. Councilmember Phyllis Edson was absent from the Mar. 5 session.