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Plant City IAFF and City Leaders Close to Aggreement

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  • captstanm1
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    Agreement Closer??

    Plant City Wants To Cut Deal With Firefighters This Month

    Published: Sep 15, 2003




    PLANT CITY - The firefighters union and city should conclude contract negotiations this month, just in time for the next fiscal year, a city official said last week.
    ``Hopefully, we will be in a situation to finalize things,'' said Sanders Bush, human resources director for the city.

    The two sides met about a week ago and plan to meet again at city hall at 9 a.m. Thursday. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

    The union's negotiator, David Kinsey, could not be reached for comment.

    The union represents 28 firefighters.


    Karlayne R. Parker

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  • Plant City IAFF and City Leaders Close to Aggreement

    Talks With Firefighters Nearly Complete
    By KARLAYNE R. [email protected]
    Published: Sep 13, 2003


    PLANT CITY - The city and firefighters union should conclude negotiations this month, just in time for the next fiscal year, a city official said this week.
    ``Hopefully, we will be in a situation to finalize things,'' said Sanders Bush, human resources director for the city.

    The two sides met about a week ago and plan to meet again at city hall at 9 a.m. Friday. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

    The city's negotiators so far have rejected most of the union's proposals.

    The union wants vacation time counted as straight pay during a week when a firefighter works extra hours; firefighters to be permitted to wear shorts during the summer; more pay when a firefighter works out of classification; a pay increase plan that goes above the annual raise each year.

    The union's negotiator, David Kinsey, could not be reached for comment.

    All along, city officials have opposed allowing firefighters to wear shorts because they say the attire isn't professional.

    The city has taken a hard line on the vacation pay issue and only is willing to pay firefighters for hours worked. When vacation days are taken the same week as additional hours are worked, the firefighter will continue to be eligible for straight pay only, Bush said.

    Bush said both sides have reached a tentative agreement that a firefighter, who is asked to work a higher classified job because of a personnel shortage, will be eligible for an 8 percent increase in pay for that day after 12 hours worked - that's 3 percent above what is currently paid.

    Both sides continue to discuss the pay issue. Like all other city employees, firefighters' pay is expected to increase after a salary study showed they were underpaid compared with other departments in the region.

    However, the union wants an additional pay plan that goes beyond the annual pay raise all city employees receive. Its proposal calls for a pay increase based on seniority.

    ``I think that after a lot of discussion on that, my impression is that they may be willing to go ahead and accept what the pay study recommended,'' Bush said.

    Bush said the city has a career development plan that allows a firefighter or police officer to make as much as 12.5 percent more over five years. The public safety employee, however, only is eligible for the pay - in 2.5 percent increments - after taking tests and meeting certain criteria.

    ``We'd be willing to do something for a person taking the initiative to improve themselves and brings more value to the job,'' he said.

    The city's pay range for a firefighter-emergency technician is $25,445 to $38,960. The study suggests that the new range should be $26,609 to $39,913.

    The pay scale for a fire inspector is $28,119 to $43,033. The study suggests that the new range should be $28,738 to $43,107.

    The union represents 28 firefighters.


    Reporter Karlayne R. Parker can be reached at (813) 754-3763

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