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Rock Falls ratifies labor agreement with firefighters

ROCK FALLS – The City Council approved a new 3-year contract with its firefighters Tuesday after an executive session.

The deal had already been ratified by the union, Rock Falls Firefighter Association Local 3291.

Firefighters received a 2 percent raise for each of the 3 years of the new contract, which runs from May 1, 2014 through April 30, 2017.

The captains will get a 3 percent raise for each year of the contract. There is no change in the benefits packages for the three captains and nine firefighters.

The collective bargaining process went smoothly, City Administrator Robbin Blackert said.

“We only had a couple of 2-hour sessions and we were able to get it done,” Blackert said. “The communication was good before we sat down and in between; the firefighters were very cooperative.”

Gary Cook, Twin City Joint Fire Command chief, said the firefighters were also pleased that negotiations moved along quickly.

“The process went very well,” Cook said. “I think it helps that there is a lot of respect on both sides.”

As a department head, Cook’s contract is renegotiated each year. He will receive a 2 percent raise for fiscal year 2015.

Sterling firefighters are also working on a new 3-year contract. The first collective bargaining session was Feb. 13. The current contract expires April 30.

Next meeting

The Rock Falls City Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. May 6, at City Hall, 603 W. 10th St. 

The agendas will be posted at and at City Hall. Call 815-622-1100 for more information.

The City Council meeting also can be viewed live on Channel 5.

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