IAFF locals in Virginia secure contracts following lifting of decades-long ban

May 30, 2024

Collective bargaining rights spread across Virginia

As reported by the the International Association of Fire Fighters, Virginia is seeing a surge in union contracts as more IAFF locals secure agreements.

This development follows the lifting of a 40-year ban on collective bargaining in the state.

Five IAFF locals have already established contracts, with additional negotiations underway.

One of the most recent successes is Prince William County Local 2598.

Local 2598 President Mitch Nason said: “This is a big moment for us as this contract was decades in the making.

“It means we have a guaranteed seat at the table as decisions are being made about our livelihood, working conditions, wages, and benefits.”

The agreement includes a cost-of-living wage adjustment, paid family medical leave, and stipends for paramedics, HazMat technicians, and technical rescue personnel.

New contracts and ongoing negotiations

The Prince William County Local 2598 agreement, effective from July 1, 2024, to July 1, 2027, also aims to reduce weekly working hours from 56 to 50 by July 2027.

To support this change, 90 new firefighters will be hired.

4th District Vice President Andrew Pantelis praised the efforts, stating: “Mitch Nason and his team did an outstanding job working with the county to pass a solid collective bargaining ordinance and then negotiating a great first contract.”

Additionally, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors ratified Local 3756’s contract on May 7.

Richmond Local 995, Charlottesville Local 2363, and Portsmouth Local 539 are in active negotiations, while Alexandria Local 2141, Arlington County Local 2800, and Fairfax County Local 2068 have signed their first contracts.

Impact of the new law on Virginia’s IAFF locals

The state law permitting municipalities to engage in collective bargaining agreements became effective in May 2021.

This change has opened the door for significant advancements in labor rights for Virginia’s firefighters.

The new contracts provide various benefits, improving the overall working conditions and job security for IAFF members.

4th District Vice President Andrew Pantelis emphasized the importance of these agreements: “This contract creates a solid foundation to build an even stronger union during future negotiations.

“Congratulations to our Prince William County members on a job well done.”

Future of collective bargaining in Virginia

As more IAFF locals continue to negotiate and secure contracts, the landscape of labor relations in Virginia is set to transform.

These contracts not only enhance the working conditions of firefighters but also set a precedent for other municipalities in the state.

The efforts of the IAFF locals and their leadership are paving the way for stronger unions and better advocacy for workers’ rights.

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