Supervisors declare impasse in negotiations with Kern County Firefighters Union

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — County supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday in declaring an impasse in negotiations with the Kern County Firefighters Union.

The issue will now go to mediation.

The county is seeking more than $3 million in cuts to overtime pay to help reduce a $9 million deficit in the fire fund, and the union is asking for incremental pay raises. 

The supervisors’ final offer for a two-year collective bargaining agreement stipulated no increase in salary for a contract term to expire June 30, 2021, and to exclude non-productive paid time off except jury duty and paid military leave from the total number of hours worked used to determine overtime eligibility.

The union’s final offer included a total of 26 percent in base salary increases beginning in 2021 and continuing in increments to 2024.

It also called for use of paid sick leave to count toward hours worked in determining overtime eligibility, specialty pays for different divisions within the department and scheduled overtime, mandatory overtime, emergency call back overtime and overtime from deployment paid at time and a half regardless of use of paid leave during the work period. 

“Based upon the significant gap in the parties’ overtime and compensation proposals, it is evident that further negotiations will not result in any meaningful movement in either party’s bargaining position,” wrote Devin Brown, the county’s chief human resources officer, in the request to declare an impasse. 

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