Ocean City Council chooses date for citizens to vote on binding arbitration referendum
The Ocean City Council has voted on a date for citizens to cast their ballot on binding arbitration for I.A.F.F Local 4269.
According to President Ryan Whittington, the council voted on Monday night to put the binding arbitration referendum on the ballot for the municipal election that will take place on November 6, 2018.
Binding arbitration is when a third party will come in and help the town of Ocean City and it's firefighters when together they cannot settle a labor dispute.
Whittington says that because the I.A.F.F collected 1,414 validated signatures, the Ocean City Council had to decide whether they would vote among themselves to accept the binding arbitration, hold a special election in August, or place the referendum in the election for November 6, 2018.
Ryan says that they support the decision for the referendum to be on November 6, 2018 and that he supports the democratic process. Whittington also said that because of this decision, majority of registered voters will get to vote on the referendum instead of a few hundred.
Whittington says that they still have a contract with the city that they plan on honoring.
Last March, a majority of members of local 4269 voted to confirm a collective bargaining agreement with Ocean City. The agreement said that the town can transition fire/EMS personnel to two hour ten day shifts, followed by two 14 hour night shifts followed by four days off as soon as October first.
This will be until June 30, 2019 and it lets employees advance a step to be awarded a one point five percent cost of living adjustment on July first of 2017 and 2018.
In addition, the town will pay a one-time transition bonus totaling $50,000 that includes creation of a deferred retirement option program.