Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater and International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3666 President Stephen Jones today signed a two-year contract for the approximately 550 firefighters who are within the bargaining unit of the Frederick County Division of Fire & Rescue Services. Among the terms of the agreement are salary improvements, increased leave for members of the Armed Services Reserves, and a leave bank dedicated to training for Peer Support team members.
“I want to thank the members of our bargaining team for their work throughout this process,” Executive Fitzwater said. “I appreciate that the parties came to the negotiating table in good faith. The agreement signed today shows that the process established by the County Council in 2020 works.”
“On behalf of the more than 550 professional fire fighters who serve Frederick County every day, we are thrilled to celebrate this shared accomplishment of the County Executive and our union,” Jones said. “Collective bargaining is a process – and the process worked. This contract paves the way for a safer Frederick County and invests in our firefighters that put their lives on the line every day.”
The Memorandum of Understanding, which takes effect July 1, includes pay scale increases of 8.5% in Fiscal Year 2024 and 6% in FY25. Additionally, employees who are certified in specialized positions such as paramedics, hazardous materials technicians, technical rescue technicians and water rescue technicians will receive additional compensation. The MOU also establishes a new procedure for grievances and terms for how an arbitration process is to be handled. These negotiations were the first to include firefighters’ working conditions. The change resulted after voters supported a ballot question in 2018 to expand items that could be negotiated. In 2020, the change became law through legislation introduced by then-County Council Member Fitzwater.
“We are proud and grateful for our first responders who work every day to keep our communities safe. They are an integral part of what makes Frederick County such a wonderful place,” Executive Fitzwater said.