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File #: 2022-1934   
Type: Consent Calendar Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 5/3/2022
Title: Adoption of Resolution Approving a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the Alameda Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA) and the City of Alameda for a Forty-Eight Month Term Commencing December 19, 2021 and Ending December 31, 2025. (Human Resources 10025060)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - MOU, 2. Exhibit 2 - MOU - Redline, 3. Exhibit 3 - AFCA Salary Schedule, 4. Resolution



Adoption of Resolution Approving a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the Alameda Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA) and the City of Alameda for a Forty-Eight Month Term Commencing December 19, 2021 and Ending December 31, 2025. (Human Resources 10025060)



To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council




The City of Alameda (City) has nine labor groups and administers two compensation plans. This includes four Public Safety groups and five miscellaneous groups. In 2020, the City reached an agreement on a contract extension with the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) through December of 2023. Labor agreements with the three remaining Public Safety groups expired in December of 2021. The agreements with the five miscellaneous groups and the two Compensation Plans expire on June 30, 2022. The City has been actively negotiating with the three remaining Public Safety groups for successor agreements. These groups are:


                     Alameda Police Officers Association (APOA)

                     Alameda Police Management Association (APMA)

                     Alameda Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA)


The City previously reached agreement with APOA and has now reached agreement on a 48-month agreement with AFCA. Staff are recommending approval of the new labor agreement. AFCA members have ratified this agreement.




The prior agreement with AFCA, representing division chiefs, expired December 19, 2021.  Negotiations between the City and AFCA commenced in September of 2021. Employee salary and benefits continue until a successor agreement is approved.


The prior agreement between AFCA and the City was negotiated in 2015. As a result of the length of time between contract negotiations, the City and AFCA focused on clarifying and updating outdated provisions in the MOU and updating compensation provisions to recognize the responsibilities of the division chief position, changes in operations and increases in the cost of living.


Items negotiated include modifying the vacation and sick leave accrual language to allow the City to use best practices in implementing its new Finance and Human Resources Information System, providing across the board salary increases to recognize increases in cost of living, maintaining the City’s healthcare premium contributions, updating the retirement cost sharing provision to clarify the members ongoing additional 6% employee contribution to CalPERS,  providing the same retention, holiday in lieu, and administrative leave benefit to AFCA members as provided to members of APMA and updating compensation to AFCA members when providing reimbursable mutual aid to other organizations, when working extra suppression shifts and to cover the cost of uniforms.


The revised MOU submitted for approval represents a forty-eight month agreement, commencing December 19, 2021 and ending December 31, 2025. 




Division Chiefs within the Alameda Fire Department manage both critical administrative program functions as well as 24-hour emergency management. Many Fire agencies split these duties into two roles, Battalion Chief and Deputy Chief. Battalion Chiefs typically act as a shift commander over all fire stations during a 24-hour time period. These positions are hourly and eligible for overtime. Deputy Chiefs are considered management positions with administrative and program management responsibilities. These positions are exempt from overtime.  The City has combined both the administrative and fire command duties into the classification of Division Chief. This allows for flexibility in assignments within the department.


The three Division Chiefs who act as shift commanders, in addition to fire suppression duties, have responsibility for department wide functions while performing their shift work. These include oversight of equipment and vehicles, supplies (e.g., EMS, janitorial, batteries), liaison for outside contracts/ intra- governmental relationships, and programs (e.g., hazardous materials, Marine Ops, Tele staff, Information Technology, Critical Incident Stress Management/Peer Support).   In addition to the three Division Chiefs who serve as shift commanders, there are three Division Chiefs with administrative and program management responsibilities. One serves as the Deputy Chief with responsibility for support services with management oversight of the Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Medical Services Division; one serves as the Fire Marshall with responsibility for supervision of the Fire Prevention Bureau, serves as the Fire Code Official, and manages facilities & department logistics need;, and one serves as the Operations Chief overseeing the day to day oversight of field operations, the Training Division, dispatch services, and personnel management/workers compensation. Because of the administrative oversight and management duties, the Division Chief classification is considered management and not eligible for overtime.


As part of this negotiations the City and the labor group worked to recognize the additional requirements of this position.  This resulted in the implementation of two new provision. The first provision will provide the same retention pay benefit as received by APMA (3% at 10 years, an additional 4% at 15 years, and an additional 5% at 20 years). The second new provision will provide the same administrative leave bank benefit to AFCA as received by APMA. The 123.5 hours of administrative leave will recognize the additional hours required of management employees covering 24 hour-seven day a week operations but not eligible for overtime.


The proposed MOU also provides salary increases as follows: three percent (3.0%) effective January 2, 2022 upon City Council approval; three percent (3.0%) effective the first full pay period following January 1, 2023, three percent (3.0%) effective the first full pay period following January 1, 2024 and three percent (3.0%) effective the first full pay period following January 1, 2025 for a total of 12% over four years.


The City also agreed to maintain its monthly contribution for employee medical insurance for eligible employees through a contribution to the Flexible Benefit Amount. The AFCA medical contribution amount will increase by 50% of the increased cost of the CalPERS Kaiser Plan. In the 2022 plan year, employees are able to choose from eight health plans, five of which are fully covered by the City’s medical contribution amount.


In order to recognize the years since the parties had negotiated the City agreed to increase the uniform allowance from $1,250 to $2,000 annually to recognize increases in cost, increase holiday in lieu from 5% to 7.5%, increased bilingual pay from $42 to $56 monthly,  provide pay for employees who provide mutual aid to other agencies during emergencies when cost are 100% reimbursable to the City, and increase shift relief pay for employees working over 10 hours on an additional command/suppression shift to be the hourly wage of a Division Chief assigned to suppression.


The City and AFCA also agreed on language to clarify provisions on the City’s OPEB Trust Fund and retirement cost sharing provision to confirm continuation of AFCA’s contribution beyond the expiration of the current contract

The parties also agreed to modify vacation and sick leave provisions to allow the City to move to best practices with the implementation of the City’s new Finance and Human Resources System.


Other clarifying language changes are included in the proposed MOU. These proposed language changes include updates to comply with state and federal law and to clarify use of City facilities, advance notice, discrimination, proof of illness, and family illness.  A draft of the MOU is attached.




The financial impact of implementing the salary increases agreed to in the AFCA MOU are described in the chart below. All cost estimates include increases in CalPERS cost.


The cost of increased healthcare premium contributions is expected to be approximately $25,000 annually. At this time there is not anticipated cost as the result of the increase in the bilingual premium. The cost of the uniform allowance increase is estimated at $6,624 annually.  The estimated increase in shift relief pay from $1,250 to an estimated $1,940 for 24 hours will only be incurred when a Division Chief covers the shift.


It is anticipated that the Fire Department budget will be able to absorb the increased cost within their existing Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22 budget. Additional costs will be incorporated in future fiscal year baseline budgets that will be subject to City Council appropriations approval. Labor costs for the AFCA bargaining group are primarily allocated to the General Fund. 




This action is consistent with the Alameda Municipal Code.




This action is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) because it is not a project which has a potential for resulting in either a direct physical change in the environment, pursuant to Guideline section 15378.




There are no identifiable climate impacts or climate action opportunities associated with the subject of this report.




Adopt a Resolution approving a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Alameda Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA) and the City of Alameda for a forty-eight month term commencing December 19, 2021 and ending December 31, 2025.


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Bronstein, Human Resources Director


Financial Impact section reviewed,

Margaret O’Brien, Finance Director



1.                     Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 2022-2025 AFCA with Appendices

2.                     Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 2022-2025 AFCA redlined

3.                     AFCA Salary Schedule, Effective January 2, 2022

cc:                     Gerry Beaudin, Interim City Manager