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Livermore-Pleasanton firefighters reach new labor contract agreement with department

Terms include 13% wage increase, new short-term staffing and drug testing policies
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The Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department (LPFD) and the local firefighters union have agreed on a tentative labor contract that includes a 13% general wage increase, Pleasanton City Manager Gerry Beaudin told Livermore Vine Thursday.

The increase will spread over the term of the contract, which expires June 30, 2025. The previous contract term between LPFD and Fire Fighters Local 1974 was from July 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2021.

Additionally, firefighter-paramedics, engineers and captains who choose to maintain their paramedic certifications after promotion will be compensated. Bilingual pay and increased education incentive pay are also included in the deal.

"The bargaining team believes that the proposed contract is consistent with the cities’ objective to ensure our firefighters are well-paid, well-trained and safe," Beaudin said.

At the time of writing, union president Joe McThorn had not responded to a request for comment.

Labor negotiations began last year ahead of the previous contract's expiration. In March of this year the union declared an impasse, which marked the union's rejection of LPFD's offer of a 12.5% pay increase over the 3.5-year contract for firefighter-paramedics and a 10.5% general wage increase for everyone else, among other benefits. 

The union also originally rejected a proposed drug testing policy, which led to a mediation process where Beaudin said a handful of topics including that policy were discussed. 

"The bargaining teams were able to find agreement on all of them," he said. "Membership from Local 1974 had the opportunity to review the language and their vote to approve resulted in the tentative agreement."

As part of the contract, Beaudin said the department will implement a comprehensive drug and alcohol testing policy, a short-term staffing policy and a method for future policy changes that are not covered in the agreement. 

Although the contract was ratified on June 18, both Pleasanton and Livermore city councils will hold their own respective meetings next week to review the labor contract for approval -- Livermore on Monday (June 27) and Pleasanton on Tuesday (June 28).

The Pleasanton City Council will hear the item at its June 28 special meeting but will not take a vote until its July 19 regular meeting.

"We are proud of our firefighters and the services they provide to our communities," Beaudin said. "Under the leadership of Chief (Joe) Testa, we look forward to the future of the department and a positive and productive partnership with our firefighters to continue to provide the exceptional services our communities so richly deserve."