TALLMADGE — Progress continues in the city’s contract negotiations with the police and fire unions, but it’s not known when new deals will be finalized, according to a city administrator.
The three-year contracts for the the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 2764 and the Fraternal Order of Police/Ohio Labor Council (FOP) expired at the end of 2018. The IAFF Local 2764 represents 13 city workers, while the FOP represents 23 city employees.
Donald Cooper, the city’s director of administration, said fact-finding was completed with the IAFF Local 2764 on Tuesday. He noted while he is not able to share the details of that session, he said, "we fully intend to continue to discuss the issues with the firefighters. We’re making progress."
Another meeting between the administration and the firefighters’ union has not been scheduled, according to Cooper.
Firefighter and paramedic Todd Hurd, president of Local 2764, said he was not able to comment at this time due to the "ground rules for negotiating that the city and I both signed."
Cooper said the administration had a "very productive meeting" with the FOP leaders last week, and added, "we’re making progress there."
He noted another meeting with the FOP is scheduled for July 17 and added that a fact-finding session is slated for Aug. 6 if negotiators determine that such a step is necessary. If the Aug. 6 meeting happens, Cooper said it would likely begin with mediation, where the arbitrator will try to "find some way to settle some issues or dispose of some issues before going into fact-finding."
A message left for Mike Dornack, president of the local FOP, was not returned by press time.
Cooper said he could not give an estimate on when he expects the IAFF or FOP contracts will be finalized.
The city’s other two employee unions — the Teamsters and the part-time firefighters — both have active contracts in place, according to Cooper. The Teamsters’ new three-year pact for the 22 employees it represents began on Jan. 1, 2019, while the part-time firefighters’ three-year deal for the 48 employees it represents started on Jan. 1, 2018.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.