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Firefighters work to ventilate attic space of the burning Republic Services office (June 21, 2016). Photo: Discover Ferndale

Fire District 7 & Firefighters agree to 6-year labor contract

Whatcom County Fire District 7 (WCFD7) and Whatcom 7 Firefighters have agreed on a new 6-year labor contract.

The labor contract applies to 43 WCFD7 employees and was the result of negotiations over the past two months.

The District announced its agreement to the contract during Fire Commissioners meeting last week. The Firefighters’ union had announced their agreement during a meeting a few days prior. During the Fire Commissioners meeting, Assistant Chief Larry Hoffman said that he was unable to find another labor contract in Washington State extending for more than 3 years.

Hoffman said, “This long term contract will allow the District to better plan for the future based on known labor costs.”

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Annual pay increases guaranteed by the contract are as follows:

Year Increase %
2017 4%
2018 2.25%
2019 2.5%
2020 4%
2021 2.25%
2022 2.25%


These rate increases were based on comparable fire districts in the area according to Hoffman.

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The contract also specifies, from 2017 through 2019, 6 staff are to be on station duty in the district at any time, seven days a week. Beginning in 2020, this staffing requirement will be increased to 7.

WCFD7 also utilizes the resources of 50 volunteer firefighters.

This collective bargaining agreement will be effective January 1st, 2017 to December 31st, 2022.

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