Hoquiam staff and firefighters reach tentative agreement to avoid layoffs

The Hoquiam Fire Department has reached an agreement with its union and the city to avoid planned layoffs of two firefighters and two paramedics. In the final week of their 30 day’s notice they were notified after the city and the Union met for most of the day Tuesday to iron out the agreement.

City Administrator Brian Shay tells KBKW there’s still work to be done to collectively address the city’s serious budget problem, but the layoffs have been taken off the table. The agreement will also settle a grievance filed by the local firefighters union.

Local 315 President Doug Stankavich says the union will meet Tuesday to vote on a memorandum of understanding.

The City of Hoquiam and the International Firefighters Association Local 315 are happy to announce an agreement that will avoid layoffs throughout 2014.
“The City is hopeful that the changes made to the handling of ambulance transfers will result in enough increased revenue to get the City back to a balanced budget by year end,” said City Administrator Brian Shay. “This agreement is a good start to collectively address a long term solution to our serious budget problems.”
“The Hoquiam Firefighters are extremely pleased to have worked in conjunction with City Officials, coming to a tentative agreement that will both settle the grievance filed by the Local as well as save the four positions that had been given layoff notices,” said Firefighters Local President Doug Stankavich. “We all know there is much work to be done in the near future to find viable ways to maintain the staffing and service levels we currently offer the citizens of Hoquiam.”
“I am really proud of our administrative staff and the members of our Fire Department who sat down and came to an agreement that avoids the laying off of 4 great employees,” said Mayor Jack Durney. “I believe we have started to mend relationships and are ready to start having a serious dialogue about how we fund public safety.”