Fulton Negotiations

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FULTON - Fulton firefighters rallied at the city council meeting Tuesday night. This time the firefighter's union requested dates for contract negotiations to resume.

Contract negotiations have been at a halt since early August.

Terry Luebbert, a firefighter supporter, said the union wants a contract soon but won't go on strike in order to get one. She said the department will always do its best to protect the community.

Since negotiations have ended, the firefighters union has been rallying at council meetings requesting a pay raise for the union. The city did grant a base-pay raise for new firefighters at the August 25 meeting.

However, Bill Johnson, director of administration, said the council understands there are some city-paid positions that are under-paid but are unable to fix the problem at this time. He said the city hopes to resolve some of these problems under next year's operating budget. 

The firefighters have also been asking the city to fix equipment that is currently broken. The city has been working on addressing these problems also.

Todd Gray, union president, said the continuation of contract negotiations isn't important for just the firefighters, but for the safety of Fulton citizens as well.

"A contract is something we can have there and have a voice and try to keep people here for longevity," Gray said.

He said he hopes the council will agree to begin negotiations sooner rather than later.

"Not every fire is the same but you could be out on a structure fire and notice something you learned from the past and might be able to save a fellow firefighters life or someone who may be trapped in the building and save their life," Gray said 

Since the firefighters were not scheduled to speak in the meeting, they spoke under a community comment period. Johnson said the council would not act on the requests at the meeting.