At its Feb. 7, 2011 meeting, as a part of its consent agenda, the Ann Arbor city council authorized the city administrator to negotiate a contract to get an analysis of and recommendations for Ann Arbor’s fire protection needs. The contract, for not more than $54,000, would be signed with International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Center for Public Safety Management.
The move comes in the context of two recent budget retreats conducted by the council, where the council discussed the possibility of transforming Ann Arbor’s fire department to a staffing arrangement that would combine full-time career firefighters with paid on-call firefighters.
The city’s current contract with the firefighters union IAFF Local 693 expired on June 30, 2010. Councilmember Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2), chair of the council’s labor committee, reported at the council’s Jan. 18, 2011 meeting that the city had been negotiating with its firefighters since February 2010, and has used the services of a state mediator on three occasions. Concessions sought by the city from all its unions include a wage freeze and higher employee contributions to the health care and pension plans.
This brief was filed from the boardroom in the Washtenaw County administration building, where the council is meeting due to renovations in the city hall building. A more detailed report will follow: [link]