SHERIDAN — After an hour of executive session discussions Monday night, Mayor Roger Miller announced that the city and IAFF Local #276 will proceed with arbitration in lieu of agreeing on the contract approved by Sheridan City Council in its April 15 meeting.

“Our last meeting on the 15th was where we had made our offer,” Miller explained to The Sheridan Press. “Firefighters basically had five days to accept or go into arbitration.”

Arbitration will include a mediator, which the two entities preliminarily decided on Kevin Kessner of Yonkee and Toner to serve as the mediator. The next 10 days will see a mix of laying ground rules and seeing if they can still avoid arbitration through discussions.

In initial requests, the firefighters asked for four specific items: the Kyle Clause, which allows a 5 percent increase with regrading a firefighter; contract cleanup, which effectively changes language in the living document; time served to the city of Sheridan, which allows for two members of the department to combine years’ served before and after a layoff not caused by any negative repercussions by the firefighters; and wage adjustments on the salary scale proposed by Condrey and Associates.

The city agreed to three of the four proposals, but rejected the wage adjustments and brought forth an alternative to the proposed wage adjustments. Council approved the contract as it stands with the city’s suggestion on wage but the firefighters declined to accept the contract, thus moving the process into arbitration.

The next meeting has not yet been scheduled.