Fairfax County Local 2068 honored after successful first contract negotiations 

Labor and management are working together across Virginia to strengthen fire departments and improve emergency services through collective bargaining.

April 12 • 2024

Fairfax County Fire Chief John Butler recognized Local 2068 and county negotiators earlier this month for successfully bargaining their first contract.  

Butler’s remarks and certificate presentation came during the department’s monthly awards and recognition ceremony on April 3. The local is now one of four Virginia affiliates to have a collective bargaining agreement. 
“We sat down at the negotiations table knowing we were there to lay down a solid foundation for us to build on for years to come. It was important to get it right,” Local 2068 President Robert Young said. “This certificate is a symbol of appreciation and demonstrates his appreciation for our hard work and dedication to deliver a solid first contract for our members and our department.” 
Key provisions of the agreement include a new pay plan with a higher starting salary and annual raises for the first 25 years of service, pay for training, an additional period of light duty for workers after pregnancy, and a pay incentive for higher education. 

“The adoption of the collective bargaining agreement was a historic moment for the department and the Local,” said Butler, who is also president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “Labor and management will use the collective bargaining agreement and the conditions it put in place, to work for the betterment of our workforce, both uniformed and civilian. Thank you to everyone who went to the table and worked with respect and dignity for each other.” 

The path to collective bargaining in Virginia opened in May 2021 when a law allowing the process went into effect. Fairfax County became one of the first to do so, in October 2021. 

Ratified by union members on Nov. 8, the contract runs from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2027. In addition to fire fighters, medics, mechanics and other Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department personnel, it covers 911 dispatchers in the Department of Public Safety Communications. 

“Less than three years after the collective bargaining law went into effect, the number of ordinances continues to grow because they see the value in labor and management working together to strengthen the fire department and to improve emergency services,” 4th District Vice President Andrew Pantelis said. “We appreciate Chief Butler’s acknowledgement and look forward to continue working together on common goals.” 

In addition to Fairfax County Local 2068, Alexandria Local 2141, Arlington County Local 2800, and Prince William County Local 2598 have contracts. Loudoun County Local 3756, Richmond 995, Charlottesville Local 2363, and Portsmouth Local 539 are all located in municipalities with passed ordinances and are working toward contracts.