Camas OKs firefighter bargaining agreement

Some pay increases, including 2.7% cost of living adjustment, retroactive to Jan. 1

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Camas City Council members have approved the 2020 collective bargaining agreement between the city of Camas and the local firefighters’ union, the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local No. 2444.

On Monday, Aug. 17, during the Council’s remote meeting, council members unanimously approved the one-year agreement, which expires on Dec. 31.

The new contract includes two pay increases that will be retroactive to Jan. 1, including a 2.7 percent cost of living adjustment and longevity pay that will be added to the firefighters’ base hourly pay. The longevity pay will kick in after 10 years, with a 1.75 percent increase and increase to 2 percent after 15 years of service and 2.25 percent after 20 years with the fire department.

Jennifer Gorsuch, the city’s administrative services director, said Monday that some of the additions in the new contract will not be retroactive to Jan. 1.

Those include an increase in cell phone allowance and special-duty assignment premium pay for rope rescue technicians, EMS supply coordinators and self-contained breathing apparatus technicians.

Under the new contract, which includes six steps in the salary schedule, firefighters earn between $6,278 to $7,533 per month; firefighter-paramedics earn between $6,906 and $8,286 per month; and battalion chiefs earn between $8,789 and $10,546 per month.

Downtown Camas infrastructure analysis complete

Camas City Council members this week discussed the recent results of a downtown Camas infrastructure analysis recently completed by the consulting group, MacKay Sposito.

Camas Public Works Director Steve Wall told the Council at their Aug. 17 workshop that the analysis was intended to be a “high-level planning tool to inform the city’s overall Capital Improvement Plan, specifically regarding improvements and revitalization projects in the downtown area.”

MacKay Sposito staff reviewed the historic downtown Camas area located between Northeast Adams and Northeast Garfield Street and Northeast Third and Northeast Seventh avenues, and identified a list of recommended upgrade projects in downtown Camas.

Using a weighted list of criteria, the firm came up with seven infrastructure priorities in downtown Camas.

The top two priorities were public safety projects (removing hazardous trees, improving streets where higher traffic volumes endanger pedestrians, removing “tripping and slipping” hazards and reviewing the intersection at Northeast Sixth Avenue and Northeast Dallas Street) and property damage projects (completing smoke testing to determine if connections between downspouts and floor drains into sanitary sewer lines are causing flooded basements in several areas of downtown Camas, and gaining a better understanding of tree root intrusions into sewer lines to prevent ponding issues).

Other priorities included identifying obstructions or damaged sidewalks that disrupt ADA-accessible routes in the downtown area; removing hazardous street trees that degrade pavements and contribute to public safety issues; replacing curb and sidewalk ramps to meet needs identified in the city’s ADA Transition Plan; and utility replacements.

The report also noted the need for pavement reconstruction, particularly on streets identified as “poor or very poor” with severe cracking, including Adams Street from Sixth to Seventh avenues; Franklin Street from Fourth to Fifth avenues and Sixth to Seventh avenues; and Birch Street from Sixth to Seventh avenues.