Hollister OKs new firefighter contract

The Hollister City Council unanimously approved a new three-year contract with the city’s firefighters earlier this month.

The contract with the Local 3395 union provides members with a 4 percent raise for each of the first two years, and a 5 percent raise for the third contract year, which starts July 1, 2021.

The five-member council unanimously approved the contract at its Aug. 6 meeting. The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2018.

In addition to the annual pay raises, the new contract and memorandum of understanding also spell out other reimbursement and employment conditions for local firefighters. These include uniform and equipment allowances, overtime stipulations, CalPERS contributions, vacation, leave, health and other benefits and provisions.

Starting June 30, 2021, the new contract will offer Hollister’s firefighters “longevity pay” for union members who reach specific levels of seniority. This pay starts at 3 percent of the base salary for those who have worked for Hollister Fire Department for 10 to 14 consecutive years, and goes up to 9 percent for those who have worked for the local department for 20-plus years, according to the contract approved by the council.

The contract also establishes a new “five-step salary range” table for the five different firefighter ranks attainable at Hollister Fire Department. An employee with the rank of firefighter will receive bi-weekly payments of about $2,831, or $73,606 annually at the first step. A first-step fire engineer earns about $3,114 bi-weekly, or about $80,964 annual base salary. The salaries increase with an employee’s seniority.

Hollister firefighters provide fire protection for the City of Hollister, San Juan Bautista and unincorporated areas of San Benito County.

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