Help With Chief Contract
I've got a couple of questions regarding negotiating a chief contract. Suppose you are going to work in a very small out of state volunteer department as the only fully paid member as Fire Chief.
What would be some "must haves" in your contract?
What do you think about my must have list?
1. A disciplinary policy that includes an appeal process and arbitration
2. Hold harmless clause to make sure chief is represented by district is sued through no fault
of his own
3. If chief is let go for other than cause, what is the typical severance or buy out?
4. Do most chiefs have "personal use" of a vehicle spelled out in the contract? Is there a
maximum distance from the district or town specified?
What else is typical??
2. most city employees are already covered.
4. some are given an allowance
can you say the state?? because sometime that matters
This is a fire protection district in the state of Washington.
A few to think about....
Educational incentives for fire related courses of study, based on percentages, for example, 10% of base salary for an Associates degree, 15% for a Bachelor's degree, 20% for a Masters degree.
Percentages for EMS certifications.
Defined amount of vacation and personal days.
Uniform allowance for purchases, cleaning and maintenance.
PS: hire your own attorney.. do not try to do it on your own.. as their attorney can put something into "legalese" that will bite you on the arse if they ever want to force you out!
It looks like you got most of them covered. Since you're in a district, you've already got the big one covered and that is who can fire you (I assume the commissioners). When you work for a city a big issue is whether the city manager or mayor can fire you at whim. I worked it in to my contract that only the city council can fire me. It probably doesn't mean much, but it's better protection against the rogue new mayors that decide to "clean house" for no reason other than to shake things up. Severance package for other than cause is 4 months pay and all vacation and sick leave cashed out. Severance is all over the place these days. Some cities refuse to offer it and others will offer up to 6 months.
thanks for the answers. Yes, I hired an attorney, but I also wanted to hear from some fire service professionals.
A couple of their issues, they don't want a hold harmless, don't want to mention "personal use" of the vehicle in the contract though they acknowledge the chief can use it. They want the ability to fire for cause without a hearing. If a person is moving across country to take a job, I feel there needs to be some security.
It's going to depend on how badly they want you. You can try to hold out for more job security, but if they call your bluff you're out of luck. Sometimes a healthy severance can make up for giving them the ability to terminate without a hearing.
Thanks Chief Roy. I understand the tradeoff and you're right about that. Just like any other negotiations, shoot for the moon and see what's really important for both sides. Compromise in the middle if need be.
Mandate an immediate labotamy for any newly appointed fire chief within 30 days of reporting.
At least this will offer a reasonable explanation for all the stupid **** they'll do.