City Reaches Successful Contract Resolution With Two Employee Unions

The City of Sioux Falls has reached agreements with two labor unions: the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Lodge #1, and the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), Local 814. These two labor unions represent 435 City employees.

The FOP and IAFF membership ratified the three-year agreements for 2021, 2022 and 2023. The contract bargaining agreements were submitted to the City Council during Tuesday’s meeting and were unanimously approved.

The City and both unions engaged in collective bargaining sessions and successfully reached agreements. Throughout the process the mayor’s office — which has led negotiations for the City — has focused on strengthening overall relations with union leadership and improving the communication process. That has included meeting frequently with union leadership to understand the concerns of their membership.

Mayor Paul TenHaken stressed the importance of continuing to build upon the relationships with both union’s leadership teams. “We realize the key to any successful negotiation is a foundation of trust and understanding. While we have reached consensus and achieved unity tonight through the approval of these contracts, we remain committed to further strengthening our office’s relationship with each union,” TenHaken said.

The three-year labor agreement with FOP includes 4% wage increases for 2021 and 2022 and a 2.5% wage increase in 2023. These increases are largely driven by the need to address challenges in the City’s ability to remain competitive in a stressed hiring market. In addition, specialty pay was extended to include seven different highly skilled agency assignments within the department. To further assist with challenges in recruitment, an additional day of personal leave for new hires was added, and a referral program providing incentive pay for the successful hiring of referred candidates was created as part of the agreement.

“The Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council is proud to partner with the City of Sioux Falls in ensuring a sustainable workforce of officers and sergeants. We have seen support from the community in many ways as of late which was reflected through the commitment made by our Chiefs and the Mayor’s Office in this contract. Our officers pride themselves in the quality of service they provide, which is only possible through support from our community partners. We pledge to continue providing the exceptional service our citizens have come to expect from the Sioux Falls Police Department,” said Jason Holbeck, President of the Sioux Falls Fraternal Order of Police.

The three-year labor agreement with the IAFF includes a 1.5% increase in wages for market competitiveness in 2021 and contract reopening language that allows the City and union to negotiate over wages only in 2022 and 2023. There were additional increases in training pay, paramedic pay and standby pay on premium holidays. 

"The Sioux Falls Firefighters’ Association is pleased to reaffirm its commitment to collaboration and dedication to service. Teamwork is a virtue firefighters hold fast to, guiding us through times of uncertainty. We value being part of the continued prosperity of our proud city now and into the future,” said Mike Gramlick, President of the Sioux Falls Firefighters’ Association.

TenHaken stressed that anticipated retirements in both the police and fire departments underscore the importance of being competitive with hiring. The Sioux Falls Police Department is anticipating up to 19 retirements over the next few years, and Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is anticipating up to 27 retirements over the next few years. 

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