Coatesville, city firefighters reach deal on new three-year contract

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Linda Lavender Norris (City Council President) and Michael Boub (Union President and City Firefighter)

The City of Coatesville and Coatesville Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 3790 reached terms for a three-year agreement covering the period from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2026. The contract, which was signed during the May 13, 2024 City Council meeting, comes on the heels of a recent ordinance designed to centralize all fire personnel and equipment under one roof at the Washington Hose Company, which was effective April 1.

“This was truly an all-out team effort,” says Coatesville City Manager James Logan. “The City and union representatives addressed wage increases, full-time and part-time labor issues, and other important benefits that reflect our strong commitment to all of our firefighters. They make huge sacrifices every day to protect and provide health and safety-related services to our residents. We feel this new agreement signifies our pledge to honor their selfless dedication. We applaud the collaborative nature of the negotiations and appreciate the IAFF Local 3790 for their transparency and collective bargaining that paved the way to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement.”

“This contract is a milestone for both the City and the firefighters union,” says Michael Boub, union president and City firefighter. “It has been 25 years since the City and the firefighters union have been able to reach an agreement without going to arbitration. Through the collective give and take from both sides, we were able to make it a reality. This was all done while keeping the safety of our residents and firefighters the number one priority.”

Other agreement terms include:

    • Collaborative operational planning
    • Recruitment efforts to hire additional firefighters
    • Promoting from within to ensure continuity within the department
    • Competitive wages and part-time salary amendments

“We as Council have the utmost respect and appreciation for the Coatesville Fire Department,” says Council President Linda Lavender Norris. “Considering that they’re running into fires when we residents are running out, their safety is as important as ours. Having relocated our firefighters and equipment under one roof allows for a safer and more cohesive department. I would like to thank the administrative team and the union members for their diligence as well as my colleagues for their support. It was a pleasure to walk through the process and I’m grateful to have come to an amicable agreement.”

The Coatesville Fire Department was founded in 1871 and is staffed, 24 hours a day, with career firefighters and supplemented by volunteer firefighters.

“The agreement provides the framework necessary to build a stronger department and enables us to improve safety and efficiency for our firefighters and the Coatesville community,” says Interim Fire Department Chief Steve Dobson. “Positive outcomes include staff increases, more opportunities to promote from within for supervisory positions, and an increase in the number of firefighters per shift.”

“The collaboration and willingness to give and take between the parties afforded the creation of a plan that focuses on improving our delivery model and, most importantly, the safety of the residents and firefighters,” says Battalion Chief and union Vice President Jim Lentz. “Staffing and subsequent financial challenges are real for our department, and it was the will of the respective bargaining committees, City Council and the City’s firefighters to create a plan that was not only fiscally responsible, but that had real positive impact. It is a great day for the City of Coatesville, its residents and its firefighters.”

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