STERLING – The City Council approved without opposition a new three-year contract with the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2301 at Monday night’s meeting.
The city characterized negotiations as “productive and cordial,” adding that they ended several weeks ago but problems pricing and finding a testing provider for firefighter-specific wellness screenings prompted both sides to agree to a memorandum of understanding, so that a provider can be found without holding up the rest of the provisions.
Highlights of the contract, in effect from May 1 through April 30, 2026, include:
• Wage increases of 5%, 4% and 4% over the three years.
• A $1,200 signing bonus.
• Additional time for newly hired firefighters to establish residency, a change prompted by a tight local housing market.
• A change to the start of the residency time requirement, from the hire date to the time the firefighter graduates from the fire academy, in the event the firefighter is unable to complete the academy training.
• The addition of Rapid Intervention Team (firefighter rescue team) training to the specialty compensation classes.
• A formal increase from six to 12 the minimum number of training classes available to firefighters (the city already offers more than 12).
The contract can be read in its entirety by going to go.boarddocs.com/il/cosil/Board.nsf/Public and clicking on meetings, then 2023, then June 19 City Council meeting agenda, then item 8E, then collective bargaining agreement.