Updated: Firefighters Approve New Contract; Receive 3% Increase Retroactively

This story has been updated to include remarks received Saturday by Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

Haverhill firefighters are receiving a 3 percent pay increase retroactive to 2013 under an agreement reached with the city this week.

Todd Guertin, secretary of Haverhill Firefighters Local 1011, told WHAV Friday union members voted Tuesday night to accept the agreement.

“We thought we would get more since the mayor just got a 30 percent raise and the council a 50 percent raise,” Guertin said. While Haverhill city councilors approved a motion by Councilor William H. Ryan to increase the salary of the mayor beginning next January, Mayor James J. Fiorentini did not put the money in the budget, officials said in rebuttal. Ryan’s motion took place during budget discussions. A similar motion to raise city councilor salaries did not pass.

In a clarification, Fiorentini told WHAV Saturday, the contract provides for 1.5 percent per year for cost of living adjustments. “It is the same as other city unions have accepted,” he said. Fiorentini said this is the first firefighters contract he has signed during his 12 years in office. He explained previous terms were imposed on both sides by binding arbitration.

“I would like to thank the members of the union for working with the city to reach a fair and reasonable settlement, one that is fair to the union and fair to the taxpayers of the city without having to go to binding arbitration,” the mayor said.

Guertin said firefighters had been without an agreement since 2013. Attorney Leah M. Barrault of Pyle Rome Ehrenberg, Boston, represented the union, affiliated with the International Association of Firefighters.