City firefighters get payouts in contract agreement

City firefighters get payouts in contract agreement
Watertown City Hall (Source: WWNY)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Watertown city firefighters are getting thousands of dollars each in a settlement of a contract dispute with the city.

City manager Ken Mix confirmed Friday that the total settlement of nearly $1.4 million - $1,396,559 to be exact - was paid out this week to 84 firefighters and retirees.

The Watertown Times first reported the payments Friday morning.

Mix told 7 News the individual payments ranged from a high of about $29,000 to a low of $511.

The payments are part of a contract firefighters and the city agreed to in August, and which covered a period from July 2016 through June of this year.

The payouts are retroactive pay - under the contract settlement, firefighters were entitled to a 2.5 percent pay increase a year for each of the four years.

In addition to the nearly $1.4 million, the city must pay another $450,000 to the Social Security and retirement funds as a result of the settlement, Mix said.

Next month, the city and the firefighters union commence negotiations on a new contract, including the difficult issue of how many firefighters must be on duty at all times.

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