Mayor Murray announces new labor accord with Seattle Fire Chiefs union

Today, Mayor Ed Murray announced that the City of Seattle and the Seattle Fire Chiefs Association Local 2898 approved a four-year contract agreement. Local 2898 represents 24 Battalion Chiefs and nine Deputy Chiefs.

“Our firefighters keep Seattle safe every single day and today’s announcement allows the fire department to continue to provide world-class fire protection services to this city,” said Mayor Murray. “I want to thank Chief Harold Scoggins and Seattle Fire Chiefs President Tom Walsh for ensuring that discussions related to Battalion 2 were made a priority during contract negotiations.”

“I am excited that through this bargaining process we were able to work with the Fire Chiefs to restore a dedicated Battalion Chief in Battalion 2, our busiest response area in the city,” said Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. “This will not only help with incident management, but assist training and readiness preparedness across the downtown area.”

The contract is retroactive, effective Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2018. It includes retroactive annual wage increases of 2.2 percent, 1.1 percent, and 3.5 percent respectively for 2015, 2016, and 2017, and 100 percent of the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton Consumer Price Index for 2018. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the agreement re-establishes Battalion 2 in order to reaffirm the City’s commitment to provide dedicated Battalion Chief coverage to downtown Seattle. During the contract negotiation process, both parties took a collaborative approach to ensure significant priorities were met. The parties came to agreement on general expectations for employee conduct and operational efficiencies such as assignment of staff to special events, including Seafair and the PrideFest, and reducing the minimum hours required to be off-duty for certain schedule changes.

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City and Fire Fighters Union Local 27 reach four-year settlement

Mayor Ed Murray announced today that the rank and file of the Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27, covering 956 firefighters have approved a four-year contract settlement that will expire on December 31, 2018.

The contract will begin retroactively, on January 1, 2015 and includes annual wage increases of 2.2 percent and 1.1 percent retroactively for 2015 and 2016, 3.5 percent for 2017 and 100 percent of the Seattle CPI-W for 2018.

“I want to thank all Seattle firefighters for their commitment to public service and keeping us safe every single day,” said Murray. “Today’s agreement will help us continue to have one of the most well-trained and dedicated fire departments in the country. It also reflects my personal commitment to support the health, wellness and fitness of Seattle firefighters. I would like to acknowledge President Kenny Stuart for his excellent leadership and commitment to Seattle firefighters. It’s through his efforts in negotiating this agreement that we were able to recognize the hard work of the men and women of the Seattle Fire Department.”

The settlement establishes the Seattle Firefighters Health Care Clinic that will benefit firefighters, the department and the community through proactive medical management, injury and disease prevention, and injury rehabilitation.  In addition, the contract will include pay increases to certain specialty assignments, an increase in longevity pay and a limited number of hours for 5-person staffing for new recruits on ladder trucks.

“Through a productive and collaborative process we were able to negotiate an agreement that is fair to firefighters and will enhance service to the community,” said Local 27 President Kenny Stuart. “Seattle Fire Fighters want to thank Mayor Murray and Chief Scoggins for their willingness to recognize the work performed by fire fighters and paramedics as well as the level of commitment of paramedic students. I also want to thank them for increasing resources for the Medic One program and the SFD Dive Team. These enhancements will improve the department’s ability to save lives. I also want to recognize the City for helping to establish the Seattle Firefighters Health Clinic. This clinic will not only reduce injuries and illnesses to save taxpayer money, but it will also reduce firefighter deaths.”

Mayor Murray’s Statement on the Greenwood fire/explosion

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement regarding last night’s fire and explosion in the Greenwood neighborhood:

“My thoughts are with the Seattle firefighters injured from last night’s explosion in Greenwood and I wish them a quick recovery. These men and women risked their lives this morning, as they do every day, to keep our community safe. I am grateful for their service and all of our first responders.

“As the investigation and clean-up continues today, I ask that commuters along the corridor be patient. Please follow updates from the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro on detours and alternate transit routes to keep people moving through the neighborhood and away from the scene during the investigation.

“Greenwood is a close knit neighborhood and an incident like this is felt by the entire community. I know neighbors will do everything they can to support these businesses as they begin the long and challenging task to recover and repair from this incident. The City will also be there to do what we can to help those affected with the clean-up and help local business owners as they work to get back on their feet and re-open their doors.”

Harold Scoggins nominated as Seattle Fire Chief

Today, Mayor Murray nominated Harold Scoggins as the next Chief of the Seattle Fire Department.

“As Seattle grows rapidly over the next 20 years, our fire service must continue to evolve to serve the city’s public safety needs,” said Murray. “Our department saves lives every day and our Medic One program remains a national leader in paramedic training for our fire fighters. Chief Scoggins has an outstanding track record and brings the right kind of experience to Seattle.”

Scoggins comes to the Seattle Fire Department from Glendale, CA. He joined the Glendale Fire Department 25 years ago as a fire fighter and rose through the ranks, serving at every level of the department. He was named chief in Glendale in 2008.

“I am honored to serve as the Fire Chief for the City of Seattle,” said Scoggins. “I look forward to working with the men and women of Seattle Fire Department to set its course for the future. My family and I are also very excited about the community and all it has to offer.”

The department currently has 80 vacancies. The mayor is directing Chief Scoggins to intensify recruitment of a diverse workforce of fire fighters, as well as ensure proper succession planning at lieutenant, captain and senior leadership positions in the department.

The Seattle Fire Department’s percentage of women fire fighters is 8.4 percent, which exceeds the national average of 3.4 percent, and the mayor is urging continued focus on the recruitment of qualified women.

“I look forward to working with Chief Scoggins, who will lead the best group of firefighters in the country – protecting us daily and providing emergency care that keeps us all safe,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. “One critical aspect for the new Chief will be to complete implementation of the five-year strategic plan completed in 2012, setting goals for developing leadership abilities of Fire Department employees at all levels, helping employees develop and improve, health and safety, ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce, fostering community outreach and partnerships, and maintaining equipment and technology critical to the department.”

The Seattle Fire Department has more than 1,100 employees and an annual budget of $178 million. Fire fighters at 33 stations serve 640,000 residents and respond to more than 88,000 alarms each year.

Today, more than 80 percent of fire emergency responses are medical in nature, a trend that is expected to grow. In January, the department added a new aid unit downtown with 10 additional firefighters. The mayor is expecting further recommendations regarding the department’s structure from the new chief.

Scoggins served for five years as a fire fighter in the U.S. Air Force before joining the Glendale Fire Department in 1989. He was promoted to Fire Engineer in 1996, Fire Captain in 1998 and Battalion Chief in 2003. In that position, he was responsible for recruitment, hiring and training of the department’s fire fighters. In 2007, he was appointed Deputy Fire Chief, before being named Chief of the Glendale Fire Department a year later.

Scoggins is a past-president of the Los Angeles Area Fire Chief’s Association. He taught Fire Science as an adjunct professor at Mt. San Antonio College and El Camino College. He has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations, and is an active community volunteer.

Scoggins earned his associate’s degree in Fire Technology from Glendale Community College in 1994, a B.S. in Fire Administration from California State University Los Angeles in 1996 and a Master of Public Administration from California State University Long Beach in 2007.

Scoggins replaces Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean, who retired at the end of 2014 after a decade at the helm. Interim Chief Michael Walsh, who first joined the department in 1971, stepped in to fill the role for the first part of 2015.

“I certainly welcome Chief Scoggins as the new chief of the Fire Department,” said Interim Fire Chief Michael Walsh. “We pledge our full support to ensure a smooth transition.”

“We are looking forward to working with our new fire chief,” said Kenny Stuart, President of Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27. “Seattle fire fighters need strong, high-quality leadership to meet the increasing challenges in today’s modern fire service, including increased call volume, a growing city, significant training demands and the constant threat of cancer and heart attacks for fire fighters.”

Chief Scoggins’ first day at the department will be April 1. He will be paid an annual salary of $205,000.

Mayor Murray seeking board members for Seattle Fire Code Advisory Board

Mayor Murray is seeking board members for the Seattle Fire Code Advisory Board to represent major institutions (including hospitals and universities), or manufacturing/warehousing, or the services industry (including nightclubs, entertainment, and retail).  Board members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council. They advise the City on updates and revisions to the fire code and have played a crucial role in ensuring it works for those who live, visit and conduct business in Seattle. This is a rewarding professional role and we look forward to hearing from you.

To apply, please send your resume and a cover letter indicating why you would like to join the Board by March 20, 2015, to Karen Grove in the Seattle Fire Marshal’s Office at karen.grove@seattle.gov or 206-386-1451, or visit the Fire Code Advisory Board website.