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Alexandria firefighters secure pay increase

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VA Local 2141 has become the first Virginia IAFF affiliate in more than four decades to ratify a contract with its employer when the Alexandria City Council voted unanimously 24 January to approve the historic agreement.

The contract calls for a 5 percent pay increase for fire fighter and fire/paramedic positions and an additional 10 percent increase for fire and EMS lieutenant captain positions. There will also be an annual raise of 2 percent and merit increases for eligible employees.  

The newly approved agreement will be effective July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2026. 

The agreement provides a path to reduce shifts from 56 to 50 hours per week by July 30, 2025. That effort will be supported by $12.52 million through fiscal year 2026 to add 52 positions. 

The Virginia state Supreme Court ruled collective bargaining unconstitutional in 1977. Recent lobbying efforts by the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters led to legislation allowing local governments to create ordinances recognizing their employees’ labor unions, thereby allowing collective bargaining for public workers. 

Local 2141 President Josh Turner said: “Collective bargaining has created a path for labor and management to discuss and resolve issues. We believe that the provisions of this contract show that we all want to serve our community by ensuring that resources are in place to keep the citizens of Alexandria safe.” 

Alexandria City Mayor Justin Wilson said: “We are proud of the collaborative work that went into making this agreement possible. City staff, alongside Local 2141 leadership, were committed to finding common ground in the interest of public safety, as well as elevating the collective voice of the department.” 

Four other local governments in the state have passed collective bargaining ordinances.  Arlington County Local 2800, Fairfax County Local 2068, Loudoun County Local 3756, and Richmond Local 995 are all working toward their first contracts. 

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