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Sticking points to a contract between local firefighters and the county include pay, benefits and remaining competitive with other fire departments, according to a fact-finders report provided to the Monitor.
Failed attempts to agree on the terms of a new contract are propelling the Los Alamos Firefighters’ Association Local 3279 closer to filing suit against Los Alamos County.
According to the report, the parties bargained to reach a contract to succeed the collective bargaining agreement that expired March 31, 2009.
Los Alamos County declared an “impasse” on April 7, 2009 and unilaterally imposed a 3-percent wage increase without union approval. The union filed a complaint with the Los Alamos County Labor Relations Board alleging prohibited practices under New Mexico law and the labor board ruled in favor of the union. Arbitrator Bruce Ponder was hired and also found in favor of the union.
“The parties assigned me the task of determining which last offer made by the parties was the most reasonable,” Ponder said in his report. “Based on my findings...I find the unions’ offer to be the most reasonable.”
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