SHALL THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS BE AMENDED BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW ARTICLE XVI THERETO GRANTING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS TO ALL UNIFORMED CITY FIRE EMPLOYEES EXCEPT FOR THE FIRE CHIEF AND HIS DIRECT REPORTS, AND SPECIFICALLY: PROVIDING THAT SUCH EMPLOYEES SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO SELECT AND REMOVE AN EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION TO SERVE AS THE SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING REPRESENTATIVE, TO BARGAIN ON BEHALF OF SUCH EMPLOYEES FOR A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY AS EMPLOYER, CONCERNING ALL MATTERS RELATED TO SUCH EMPLOYEES' WAGES, SALARIES, MONETARY PAYMENTS, EMPLOYER-PAID HEALTH INSURANCE, EMPLOYER-PAID ACCIDENT, LIFE AND DISABILITY INSURANCE, EMPLOYER-PAID PENSION PROGRAMS INCLUDING THE AMOUNT OF PENSION AND CONTRIBUTIONS, EMPLOYER-OFFERED DEFERRED COMPENSATION, HEALTH INSURANCE FOR RETIRED FIRE EMPLOYEES, PAID TIME OFF, UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT ALLOWANCES, EMPLOYERPAID EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT, HOURS OF WORK, SAFETY, AND ALL OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT OF SUCH EMPLOYEES; PROVIDING FOR THE TERM OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS OF NOT LESS THAN ONE (1) YEAR NOR LONGER THAN THREE (3) YEARS; PROVIDING THAT IN THE EVENT OF IMPASSE BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING AGENT REGARDING ANY ISSUES, THE ISSUES ARE TO BE SUBMITTED TO A FACT-FINDER SELECTED FROM A LIST PROVIDED BY AN ARBITRATION ORGANIZATION UNLESS THE CITY AND EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING AGENT MUTUALLY AGREE TO USE SOMEONE NOT ON THE ARBITRATION ORGANIZATION LIST, WITH THE FACT-FINDER TO BE SELECTED BY AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING REPRESENTATIVE AND THE CITY; PROVIDING AND LIMITING THE FACTORS THAT THE FACT-FINDER MUST CONSIDER IN HIS OR HER DECISION; PROVIDING THAT IF EITHER THE CITY OR THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING REPRESENTATIVE DOES NOT ACCEPT THE DECISION OF THE FACT-FINDER ON ANY ISSUE, THAT ISSUE SHALL BE PRESENTED TO AND DECIDED BY THE VOTERS ONLY AT A SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION, WITH THE COST OF THE SPECIAL ELECTION TO BE PAID BY THE PARTY NOT ACCEPTING THE FACTFINDER'S DECISION, UNLESS BOTH PARTIES REJECT THE FACT-FINDER'S DECISION, IN WHICH CASE THE COST OF ELECTION IS SHARED EQUALLY, AND WITH EACH ISSUE TO BE SUBMITTED AS A SEPARATE BALLOT QUESTION; AND PROVIDING THAT ANY ADOPTED APPROPRIATIONS ORDINANCE OF THE CITY SHALL BE AMENDED AS NECESSARY TO COMPLY WITH AND PAY FOR THE COST TO THE CITY OF THE ACCEPTED RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE FACT-FINDER OR THE ELECTION RESULTS ON EACH ISSUE ?
Issue 1 would allow uniformed city firefighters (except the Fire Chief and his direct reports) to collectively bargain with the city through an exclusive bargaining representative. Collective bargaining would include compensation, insurance, safety issues, hours of work, time off, and all other terms and conditions of employment. Issue 1 also establishes a process by which impasses would be resolved through a designated fact-finder or special election.
A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of amending the Colorado Springs city charter to allow collective bargaining for uniformed city fire employees, with the exception of the fire chief and direct reports of the fire chief.
Colorado Springs Firefighters should have a guaranteed voice in public safety decisions that impact residents. Support would give firefighters a voice in matters such as:
*The number of firefighters who respond to the city’s emergencies
*The equipment and vehicles that firefighters use to serve the community
*Matters related to the health and safety of firefighters and the residents
*The attraction and retention of high-quality firefighters so that the best people respond to you and your family in a time of need
Our police and firefighter organizations have full access to the Mayor and City Council to discuss wages, benefits, staffing, equipment, etc., and are well represented on all city compensation and benefits committees.
*From 2016-2021, the city is adding another 52 people in the fire department, including 44 line firefighters.
*Line firefighter pay has increased 16% in the last four years, from $68,000 to $80,000, plus overtime, far exceeding the average salary in Colorado Springs of $47,000.
*Firefighters receive a generous benefits package, including lifetime retirement pay.
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