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Largo Firefighter Set to Receive Hefty Raise

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  • Largo Firefighter Set to Receive Hefty Raise

    Agreement could fatten firefighters' wallets
    If Largo's City Commission and the union give their final approval, the 18.5 percent pay raise over three years for 119 employees would take effect Oct. 1.
    By SHANNON TAN
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 13, 2003

    -LARGO - City firefighters may have won an 18.5 percent pay raise over the next three years.

    After negotiating for about four months, the firefighters union and the city reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract Thursday night.

    City commissioners will decide Sept. 16 whether to approve the raise. Union members will hold a final vote on the contract next week.

    The contract, which would take effect Oct. 1, covers the city's 119 firefighters, lieutenants, paramedics and EMTs.

    First-year Largo firefighters/EMTs are paid between $31,378 and $44,321. Under the proposed new contract, they would make between $31,723 and $46,859 in the first year of the pay raises.

    That puts Largo firefighters almost on par with other fire departments in Pinellas County.

    The rate for first-year firefighters/EMTs in Pinellas Park starts at $33,038 and $34,096 in St. Petersburg.

    In Clearwater, where firefighters have worked without a contract since October, the starting salary for firefighter/EMTs is $34,357.

    "The city and the union worked very, very hard together to come up with a tentative agreement," said union president Timothy Baker.

    "It's a difficult time for the city the way the economy is," Baker said. "We took that all into consideration."

    Baker said the rising cost of health insurance factored into negotiations. Firefighters with families will get more coverage under the new contract, said Assistant City Manager Henry Schubert.

    - Shannon Tan can be reached at [email protected] or 445-4174
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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