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No deal reached for Tallahassee firefighter's union on increased pay and benefits

Posted at 6:41 PM, Sep 20, 2023
  • No deal was reached at the 11th negotiation session between the local firefighters union and the City of Tallahassee.
  • The two groups have been negotiating over a higher wage that Tallahassee Professional Firefighters Union President Joey Davis says is needed for retention and recruitment.
  • The current offer would bump a starting firefighter up one tax bracket.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:
Fighting for more money while fighting fires to keep you safe.

Tallahassee Professional Firefighters are continuing their conversation with the city about increasing pay for the 2024 contract.

The latest in the process: their 11th negotiation meeting.

"The primary issue is that when we get to the first week of October now all other city employees will be receiving a raise and our men and women at the fire department won't," said Joey Davis, president of the union.

Some of those men and women joined Tallahassee Professional Firefighters Union President Joey Davis Thursday in the downtown neighborhood in a fight for higher pay and better benefits in their 2024 contract.

While there have been some frustrations about how long these negotiations have gone on, Deputy chief Richard Jones said they are working to get the best deal for all involved.

"The city wants to negotiate in good faith with the union and have both sides working together in a positive manner to come up with a contract that's amenable to both sides," Jones said.

Here's what's on the table.

In the current offer, the city would increase starting pay for a firefighter by more than $1,600, bumping them up to the next tax bracket.

Take home pay with the new offer would be $32,524 after taxes including pension contributions.

That is just $1,190 dollars more than the pay in the current contract, which is $31,334 after tax including pension.

They were not able to meet what Davis said are the needs of their firefighters.

Something that Davis said is disheartening.

"What we haven't seen is the level of silence from certain leaders in the city," Davis said.

Jones said the city is working to bring the best offer to the union.

"Continuing to negotiate in good faith and that's what the city is going to do," Jones said.

Davis fears that without the deal they're hoping for, recruitment could be impacted.

Something he said could mean less first responders to help out during times of crisis.

With the budget being finalized in October, Davis said he hopes the city and union can come to a final decision soon.