Michigan Firefighters, Police Take Three Year Wage Freeze

WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI &#8211 The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees approved tentative agreements with public safety unions at its meeting Monday in Town Hall.

All of the agreements will have to be ratified by the independent bargaining units. The bargaining units representing the West Bloomfield Professional Fire Fighters Union, IAFF Local 1721, as well as the Police Officers Association of Michigan and the Command Officers Association of Michigan union members were lauded by the township board for making numerous concessions in their new deals.

“They made substantial concessions on health care, on new fire department employees,” said Trustee Larry Brown of the West Bloomfield Fire Department. “There was no public fight. This was done in a professional manner.”

Trustee Howard Rosenberg said the fire department members’ annual health care deductible went from $250 to $1,000, their life insurance went from a 2 percent contribution to 5 percent and had agreed to no pay increases for the next three years. Treasurer Teri Weingarden said it was as deep a cut as the fire department could take.

“They’re down to minimum staffing levels,” she said. ‘They’re taking really big hits and I really have to thank them.”

Police Chief Michael Patton said the sacrifices made by the officers under his command were a testament to their dedication to residents.

“I’m proud to be the leader of the men and women of this department,” he said. “(Their sacrifice) is significant. It’s historical. It shows the character they have in serving this community.”

Fire Chief Jay Wiseman echoed those sentiments and said it was proof that public safety was being provided as efficiently as possible.

“It’s important for citizens to know that police and fire are being run very prudently,” he said. “We’re doing more with less. The police and fire departments were created by the residents of West Bloomfield and will continue to do a good job with their support.”

From The West Bloomfield Patch