Photo: Belmont Fire in action.
Drug and alcohol testing policy is now part of firefighters job after the Belmont Board of Selectmen approved a three-year contract with the 54 members of the International Association of Firefighter Local 1637 at its Monday, April 25 meeting.
“The firefighters really stepped up to the plate with the town” reaching an agreement after two years of negotiations, said Belmont Fire Department Chief David Frizzell.
While the mandatory testing is new to the department, “it’s becoming the norm among the majority of top tier fire departments,” said Assistant Fire Chief Angus Davison.
The contract, which is retroactive to July 1, 2014, and runs through June 31, 2017, provides for an annual salary cost and living adjustment of two percent and while 13 personnel will see their yearly Advanced Life Savings stipend bumped up from $2,000 to $2,750.
New employees will pay more for their health insurance contributions, from 20 to 25 percent, while seeing a 25 cent increase per hour in compensation. There are also changes in benefits for personnel who obtain associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in fire science.