By Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
The Havre City Council approved one-year contracts Monday with the unions representing city firefighters, police officers and public works employees.
The contracts contain no pay raises.
Darren Johnson, president of the union local at the Public Works Department, said the negotiations went well.
"Basically, everything we asked for we got," he said.
Dave Krezelak, an engineer at the Havre Fire Department and chair of the local firefighter union's negotiation team, wasn't as pleased.
"We got a zero percent pay raise," he said. "We were trying to get 5 percent."
Krezelak said Local 601 of the International Association of Firefighters agreed to a one-year contract with no pay raise after it was told the city couldn't afford to give any city workers a pay raise but would pay the increase in insurance premiums.
City Clerk Lowell Swenson said the city is covering all of a 20 percent increase in health insurance premiums for all city workers.
The city agreed to pay $25 a month to firefighters with hazardous material training, half of the $50 the union asked for. Four of the 15 firefighters represented by the union have that training, Krezelak said.
He said the firefighters wanted a two-year contract.
"The city refused to negotiate beyond one year," Krezelak said.
Terry Schend, chair of the City Council's Labor and Negotiations Committee, said negotiations for the next contract will start about February.
Johnson said Local 336 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents the public works employees, didn't ask for a raise because it was told no city employees would get one.
The local was successful in updating the contract to stay current with contract language across the state, receiving guaranteed summer hours of 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Labor Day to Memorial Day. Employees will receive three days of funeral pay to attend funerals of immediate family members, he said.
Representatives of the police union could not be reached for comment.