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Portage Township Trustee, board, SH Firefighters sign first-ever contract

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on January 27, 2021 with No Comments

Portage Township Trustee, the Portage Township Board and the South Haven Professional Firefighters Local 5221 signed a first-ever contract Monday at the Portage Township Trustee’s office. Pictured, from left, are firefighter/paramedic Christine Gospodarek, Portage Township Board President Billy Coker, Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy, Local 5221 President and firefighter/paramedic Eric Wood, firefighter/paramedic George Hayes, Local 5221 Vice President and firefighter/paramedic Robert Gutierrez and Portage Township Board Member Eric Skalka

Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy, the Portage Township Board and South Haven Professional Firefighters Local 5221 made history recently by signing the first-ever contract between the township and union.

“This is an important moment,” said Clancy during a signing ceremony held Monday at the Township Trustee’s office. “It took a lot of hard work and it best reflects the relationship between the township and South Haven Fire Department, which is one of the finest fire departments in Indiana.”

In addition to Clancy, the new contract was signed by Township Board President Billy Coker and member Eric Skalka. Member Nikita Momola was unable to attend, but previously signed the document.

The five-year contract covers the six career paramedics within the department, outlining the salary, benefits and conditions of employment of the career firefighters/paramedics who serve the Portage Township community.

“For us, it is peace of mind,” said Eric Wood, president of Local 5221.

Wood said the contract was completed in 20 months, with negotiations beginning in April 2019 when the South Haven career firefighters/paramedics formed their own local. They had previously been associated with Local 3151, representing Portage.

“Everybody was very open to this. We came together with ideas, talked and developed the contract very quickly. I wish all contracts were like this,” said Wood.

Contract negotiations were assisted by the Professional Fire Fighters Union of Indiana.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve organized many members,” said Thomas Hanify, president of PFFUI. “I have never experienced a relationship like this. No place has come together so effectively. It is a tribute to this community, its leadership and firefighters.”

 

 

 

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Portage Township Trustee, the Portage Township Board and the South Haven Professional Firefighters Local 5221 signed a first-ever contract Monday at the Portage Township Trustee’s office. Pictured, from left, are firefighter/paramedic Christine Gospodarek, Portage Township Board President Billy Coker, Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy, Local 5221 President and firefighter/paramedic Eric Wood, firefighter/paramedic George Hayes, Local 5221 Vice President and firefighter/paramedic Robert Gutierrez and Portage Township Board Member Eric Skalka.

 

 

 

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