Broward County

Miami, firefighters agree on terms for new contract

After 18 months of negotiations, Miami’s firefighter union appears to have come to terms with city officials for a new, two-year contract.

Leaders of the International Association of Firefighters Local 587 walked out of a negotiation session Wednesday morning with a handshake agreement for a new collective bargaining agreement. If signed and ratified, the new contract would unlock annual 5 percent salary “step” increases for the first time in three years, but hike members’ pension plan contributions from 7 percent of their salary to 10 percent.

The agreement is worth an estimated $6 million in pay increases. The union’s last contract expired in October of 2014.

The union and city officials came to terms after the city rejected the union’s request to create a health trust and the union rejected the city’s request to add a third year to the contract, which will run until October 2016. After the meeting, union president Freddy Delgado and former president Robert Suarez called the agreement a compromise.

“Overall, I think it’s a fair deal for our members and a fair deal for the city,” said Suarez. “There’s a lot left unresolved, but we’ll be negotiating again in eight months.”