The City of Solon and the International Association of Firefighters Local 2079 have reached an agreement – the night before fact finding was to commence.

The fire union, representing 59 of the 61 full-time employees of the Solon Fire Department, were to have voted on the collective bargaining agreement Dec. 29, according to union president Tom Green.

The fact finding meeting was canceled but the union body still needs to vote on it so nothing is written in stone yet, Mr. Green said Monday.

The city and fire union had reached an impasse in negotiations, with healthcare being the main issue. Fact finding was scheduled for Dec. 17. The parties had been in negotiations for some time.

Mayor Edward H. Kraus said Monday that, while he could not give details, reaching an agreement is beneficial to all involved.

“It spares us a lot of time, effort and money,” he said. “It was equally beneficial both for the union and for us to reach an agreement.”

Both sides had retained outside legal counsel on the matter.

Mayor Kraus said that, once the union votes, he will take the agreement to City Council to ratify. He expects that to happen in January.

“We had many meetings and hours of negotiations with them,” Mayor Kraus said of the fire union. “All of those negotiations, in my opinion, were in good faith on both sides.”

The city has not yet solidified agreements with the remaining bargaining units, Mayor Kraus said, including the police unions, the labor force of the water reclamation plant and the building inspector.

The parties have until Dec. 31 to reach an agreement on the three-year contract, which runs from 2022-2024.

“I anticipate we will reach an agreement with every union based on the framework for the fire union,” Mayor Kraus said. “But first and foremost we have to get the agreement with the fire union. We have historically used the fire union to get an agreement first.”

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