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Hawaii firefighters to receive pay increases over 2 years

HONOLULU — Hawaii firefighters will receive pay increases as part of a new two-year contract agreement, officials said.

The Hawaii Fire Fighters Association and the state government agreed to 2% pay increases in each of the next two years, one-time bonuses in each year and an increase in regular raises based on years of service, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.

In addition to the 2% raises, the contract that runs from July 1 to June 30, 2021, includes bonuses of between $1,800 and $2,000 each year per employee, as well as an increase in “step movement” raises given for reaching a certain number of years of service.

“We’re pleased with the outcome,” said union president Bobby Lee.

All four of the state’s county governments and the state government must approve additional funding for the contract changes.

Union members will not vote on the contract because it was finalized by an arbitrator.

The contract will cost Honolulu taxpayers $5.6 million more annually in the first year and $10.2 million in the second year, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a letter to the city council last week.

The sides began negotiating in February 2018 but reached an impasse during negotiations in June before agreeing to a neutral arbitrator, who delivered a final decision April 8.

The union represents about 2,000 firefighters from each of Hawaii’s four counties, as well as the state Airport Division’s Crash and Rescue unit. The largest employer is the city and county of Honolulu with 1,002 union firefighters.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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