Monarch Fire Protection District

Rescue crews from the Monarch Fire Protection District work at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on May 3, 2016.
Monarch Fire Protection District | Facebook

Updated July 26, 2016 with appeals court ruling. — A Missouri appeals court says firefighters in the Monarch Fire Protection District can continue working under their old contract while negotiating a new one.

Tuesday's ruling upholds an "evergreen" clause that says the current contract, negotiated in 2013, remains in effect as long as good faith negotiations are going on between the board and the union. The district provides fire and ambulance service for parts of west St. Louis County.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The battle underway in the Monarch Fire Protection District in west St. Louis County involves far more than pink T-shirts and whether the district’s firefighters can sport and sell such shirts to promote efforts to fight breast cancer.

As district board member Jane Cunningham and her firefighter critics see it, the fight is actually over the clout of the district’s collective-bargaining organization, Local 2665 of the International Association of Firefighters/Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Six months ago, then-state Rep. Cole McNary was engaged in a tight race for Missouri state treasurer. A year ago, then-state Sen. Jane Cunningham was seen as a likely candidate for Congress.

Now, the two Republicans, both from Chesterfield, are battling each other in one of the liveliest and most unusual races on the April 2 ballot. 

At stake? A seat on the nonpartisan board governing the Monarch Fire District in west St. Louis County. The victor will be paid $200 a meeting.

The State Auditor’s Office is pleased overall with efforts by the Monarch Fire Protection District in Chesterfield to implement changes recommended in a recent audit.

In February, Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (R) gave the Monarch Fire District a “C,” in part for its early retirement incentives package that violated the State Constitution.  Spokesman for the Auditor’s office, Spence Jackson, says their recommendations there have yet to be implemented.

“They told us that that’s not something that they’re going to have to deal with again for another couple of years," Jackson said.  "But they did indicate that they would apply more due diligence with how future retirement incentives are handled, and we’re pleased with that.”

The Monarch Fire Protection District, in West St. Louis County, should expect to be audited later this year after Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the State Auditor’s Office to perform an audit of the fire district. The governor gave the order after reviewing allegations against the fire district sent by the State Auditor’s Office.