Every tax is a pay cut.  Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation

Fire Union Contract Notes

The Town of Framingham is ninety (90%) unionized.

The Framingham fire department has about 150 employees and a fiscal 2007 budget of $11.3 million. This comes to an average of $75,333 per employee.

Framingham's fire fighter's union is the AFL-CIO IAFF Local #1652.  IAFF is the International Association of Fire Fighters.

There appears to be two separate agreements. One is titled

Agreement between the Town of Framingham and Framingham Firefighters, Local #1652 IAFF, AFL-CIO

effective July 1, 2004 - June 30, 2007

and the other is titled

Agreement between The Town of Framingham, Massachusetts and The Framingham Deputy Fire Chiefs, Local #1652 - IAFF - AFL-CIO

effective July 1, 2004 - June 30, 2007

This is a composite view of both agreements.

As with any union, seniority provides perks, such as not having to work when they call you (in reverse seniority).

One huge glaring ommission in the fire fighter's contract is a No Smoking Clause. Basically, the town is effectively stating that smoking is not dangerous to your job as a firefighter.

No firefighter should be allowed to smoke as a condition of employment.  If (s)he develops a respiratory related related disability and (s)he smokes, how does the town determine whether it was work related or not. If a firefighter who smokes dies of such a disease, is it fair to the taxpayers to pay all the expenses for a self-inflicted death? 

Here's a recap of their salaries, health insurance and retirement benefits.

  • their normal salaries,
  • a substantial number of them get an automatic step increase beyond the normal annual pay increase,
  • 90% of their health insurance is payed for by the taxpayers while they work and after they retire,
  • their generous retirement is paid for by the taxpayers,
  • all the frills offered by this contract

It is said that The Road To Hell is paved with good intentions.

This contract alone paves many miles to hell. It is also a classic case of how the taxpayers are nickeled and dimed to death.

I was far less cynical of these parasites before I read the union contracts. I encourage all town meeting members to read these contracts in detail before voting on giving them more money. Please, Enough is Enough!

Between their normal base pay, holiday pay, vacation time, sick time, overtime rates, night differentials, weekend differentials, hazardous duty pay, hazardous material pay, defribrillator pay, educational benefits pay, clothing allowance, EMT compensation, longevity pay, I frankly think these parasites are more than sufficiently overpayed.

It was very discouraging to read these contracts. If you have not read these contracts, I don't want to hear from you. Yes, there will be a quiz.

It's very clear that the Board of Selectman or Town Meeting DO NOT understand the word NO when it comes time to negotiate with these unions. After all, it's only taxpayers money, not their own money.

The concept of seniority being ranked above competency is very offensive to me and has always turned me away from unions.  This union represents communism in action.

Article I, Section 6 (No Strike Clause)

It shall be unlawful for any employee to engage in, induce, or encourage any strike, work stoppage, slowdown or withholding of services of himself or by any other employee.

Article II, Section 4 (Dispatcher Pay)

All permanently assigned fire fighters performing the duties of Dispatcher or Fire Prevention will receive an across the board increase to FF-2 step 1.

Article III, Section 1

Work week shall not exceed 42 hours, averaged over an 8 week cycle. One 24 hour shift followed by 48 hours off duty, followed by another 24 hour shift, followed by 4 days off.

No firefighter shall be permitted, except with the approval of the chief, to work more than 62 consecutive hours, or 96 hours in any one week period.

Article III, Section 4

Employees called back to duty shall be compensated for at least 3 hours of overtime pay.

Article III, Section 5

The overtime rate is 1.5 times the hourly rate of the employee.

Article III, Section 7

The minimum number of on duty personnel assigned to fire fighting forces shall be 30.

Article IV, Section 1

There are 11 holidays.  Holiday pay shall be paid on the basis of 25% of a week's base pay for each holiday.

No employee shall be scheduled to work on both Christmas and New Years.

Article IV, Section 2 (Vacation)

Vacation Time Accumulation Table
Less than 5 years Two weeks
5 - 10 years Three weeks
10 - 20 years Four weeks
More than 20 years Five weeks

The 12 week period which coincides with the public school vacation in summer and the last two weeks of the year are considered prime vacation taking periods.

Article V, Section 1 (Bereavement Leave)

Once again as in the school unions, they mention a large family such that if any "family" member dies (whether known or not by the firefighter), a week of paid leave is in order and the taxpayer loses.

It doesn't matter whether these people are loved ones or mortal enemies. You get to mourn or celebrate their death.  This contract simply does not differentiate between loved ones or mortal enemies.

Immediate family shall consist of spouse, child, mother, father, sister, brother, step-son, step-daughter, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, or grandchild of member, or person living in the immediate household, and child, mother, father, or grandchild of spouse.

The bereavement period shall be defined to be 7 consecutive days commencing with, and including the date of death.

In the event of a death of a brother-in-law or or sister-in-law, step-mother, step-father or aunt or uncle, or grandparents of an employee's spouse, the member will be permitted to absent himself without loss of pay to attend the funeral.

Article V, Section 3 (Sick Leave)

Fifteen (15) days of sick leave per year are available.  If a member does not utilize any sick leave during the calendar year, (s)he gets a sick-leave incentive payment of $350. There is also a limitted sick leave buyback.

Article XVIII (Sick Leave bank) A sick leave bank for use by members of the bargaining unit who have exhausted their own sick leave and who have serious illness shall be established.

Lots of rules on this one, but another case of socialism, nonetheless.

Article VI (Salaries)

One employee gets $1200 for performing Fire Alarm duties. One additional employee will get a captains pay for performing Fire Alarm Superintendent duties.


Employees will receive $1200 for performing inspection duties. Effective 1996/07/01 fire fighters and officers assigned to fire prevention shall be assigned to a suppression group for the purpose of receiving weekend and night differential in lieu of any other stipend.


There are automatic increases for degrees and advanced courses.

Not less than 10 semester hours credit towards a Baccalaureate Degree in fire science or fire management: 1.5% increase in base pay

Not less than 25 semester hours credit towards a Baccalaureate Degree in fire science or fire management: 3% increase in base pay

Not less than 40 semester hours credit towards a Baccalaureate Degree in fire science or fire management: 5% increase in base pay

Associate Degree in fire science or fire management: 7.5% increase in base pay

Baccalaureate Degree in fire science or fire management: 10% increase in base pay

Master's Degree in fire science or fire management or related specialty, approved in advance by the Chief and Human Resources: 15% increase in base pay

A "C" grade is required for all course except when the goal is an Associate, Baccalaureate, or Master's degree.

Article VII (Hazardous Duty Pay)

Members covered by this agreement shall receive Hazardous Duty pay in the amount of four percent (4%) of their base pay, payable as a lump sum on December 1 of the contract year.

Article XIII (Clothing Allowance)

Annual clothing allowance is $550 for the first year and $500 for subsequent years. A promotion will get you an extra $100 that year, and you get an extra $82/year if you are required to wear full dress uniform.  Any clothing that is damaged in the line of duty will be replaced at no cost to the fire fighter.

Article XVI (Weekend and Night Differential)

A nine percent (9%) hourly differential shall be paid to bargaining unit employees for all regularly scheduled hours from Saturday at 0800 to Monday at 0800.

All employees assigned to the rotating daylight schedule shall receive a night shift differential, paid weekly in the amount of 4.111%, not to exceed $2200.

Article XIX (EMT Compensation)

All employees must become EMTs and maintain their EMT status as a condition of employment. Compensation is 2.75% of base pay capped at $1500.

Article XXI (Physical Competency Study Committee)

A joint committee between the union and the Board of Selectman look into physical competency issues.

No specifics here at all.

Article XXIV (Longevity Pay)

Each employee gets annual longevity pay starting at $200 for 10 years of service, increasing by $50 for each subsequent 5 years of duty, up to $450 for 35 years of service.

Article XXVI (Hazardous Materials/Specialist Training)

Each bargaining unit member shall receive a special stipend of 2% of base pay as a hazardous material training stipend.

Article XIX (Defribillator Training)

All firefighters who pass defribillator training shall receive a stipend equal to 1% of base pay.

Fire Fighters Salary Schedule 1/1/2007 - 6/30/2007

Current Fire Staffing

An employee must have attained 20 years of service before attaining step 5.

An employee must have attained 25 years of service before attaining step 6.

Permanently assigned dispatchers and fire prevention inspectors at FF-2
must have 20 years of town service to reach step FF-2A.

Permanently assigned dispatchers and fire prevention inspectors at FF-2
must have 25 years of town service to reach step FF-2B.

Step 1 2 3 4 5 6
FF-1 $ 39,925 $ 43,000 $ 44,325 $ 45,636 $ 46,515 $ 47,882
FF-2   $ 49,452 $ 50,971 $ 52,481 $ 53,359 $ 54,726
FF-2A   $ 50,331        
FF-2B   $ 51,698        
FF-3   $ 56,867 $ 58,615 $ 60,357 $ 61,236 $ 62,603

Fire Department Chiefs Salary Schedule 1/1/2007 - 6/30/2007

Current Fire Staffing

Step 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
FDC $ 66,156 $ 68,263 $ 71,180 $ 73,831 $ 76,588 $ 79,443 $ 80,246

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