Washougal council to vote on agreement with firefighters

Memorandum of understanding applies to trial consolidation

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A potential agreement with Washougal firefighters will result in shifts starting 30 minutes earlier and pay increases when members are involved in advanced life support.

Currently, Washougal firefighters work 24-hour shifts, starting at 7:30 a.m. Camas firefighters start at 7 a.m.

The memorandum of understanding between Washougal and International Association of Firefighters Local 2444 provides for a 1.5 percent pay increase for Washougal captains and firefighters when they are on assignment as advanced life support team members and supervisors.

The memorandum allows for Washougal firefighters to be assigned to Camas stations and to staff an ambulance. It also provides for the possibility that a Washougal firefighter could serve as a Camas battalion chief.

The memorandum will be up for a Washougal City Council vote during its next meeting Tuesday, July 5, at 6 p.m., in the council chambers at City Hall, 1701 “C” St.

Meanwhile, Washougal Fire Chief Ron Schumacher said after last night’s City Council workshop that ongoing labor talks with firefighters are not affected by the memorandum. The firefighters union’s three-year contract expires at the end of this year.

The city is also in current negotiations with public works employees.

A functional consolidation of the WFD and CFD is expected to begin Friday.

In May, the Washougal Council approved a $150,000 budget amendment to help Camas offset a $310,000 shortfall. It involves transferring $95,000 to an EMS fund to offset the shortfall and spending $55,000 for a new hire at the Washougal Fire Department. Functional consolidation is expected to reduce overtime by giving the Camas and Washougal fire departments flexibility to move staff from station to station to fill gaps and maintain minimum staffing.

It is expected to reduce the shortfall by $115,808. That would leave $194,192 for Camas to pay, using reserves.The trial consolidation will end six months after a new Washougal firefighter is “fully functional,” as determined by the chiefs.

The employee is expected to start no later than Sept. 1.