NIAGARA FALLS - The City Council this week approved new long-term contracts with the two unions representing city firefighters, granting them annual raises for years to come.
In exchange, the firefighters will pay a greater share of their health insurance costs through increased copayments for prescriptions and medical office visits.
The Fire Department Officers Association will receive 2 percent pay increases every year from now through 2024, along with a 1 percent retroactive raise for having worked three years without a current contract.
The Uniform Fire Fighters Association received the same terms, except that their new contract runs through 2026, with pay raises of 1.5 percent in 2025 and 0.5 percent in 2026. Newly hired firefighters will have to pay 15 percent of their health insurance premiums. Current firefighters, who are paying smaller percentages, will continue to pay those.