1. #1
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001

    Default Palm Beach Gardens Fireifighters ask for Mediation

    Gardens firefighters call for mediation
    By Jennifer Sorentrue

    Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

    Saturday, July 30, 2005

    PALM BEACH GARDENS Contract talks between the city and its firefighters have collapsed, and union representatives are calling for a state mediator to help resolve the stalemate.

    After several months of negotiations, the city and the firefighters have not been able to reach an accord on five issues, including pay raises and random drug- and alcohol-testing.

    The union is asking for a 5 percent annual pay raise, coupled with a second "step" raise. And the firefighters are refusing to submit to the random drug- and alcohol-testing unless the city gives them the pay raises and other benefits, said Joel Brier, executive vice president of the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics of Palm Beach County.

    City officials have agreed to the 5 percent increase but not the second raise, which they estimate will cost about $3 million over the next three years. About two-thirds of the city's firefighters would qualify for the yearly "step" raises, resulting in a 10-percent-per-year pay hike, Fire Chief Pete Bergel said.

    "Ultimately it's the taxpayers that have to foot the bill," City Manager Ron Ferris said. "We are trying to be fair and equitable with taxpayer money."

    Brier, however, says the increase would actually be much less, because many of the city's firefighters won't qualify for the second raise.

    Union representatives had originally supported random drug- and alcohol-screening, but later withdrew their support when city officials did not agree to the proposed salary increases, Brier said.

    "The union doesn't oppose drug-testing," Brier said. "It's not an issue. We proposed it with our salary (increases)."

    The city's firefighters are currently tested for drugs and alcohol if there is "reasonable suspicion'' or after an on-duty injury or accident

    Roughly 30 other city employees, all certified to operate heavy machinery, are required to submit to random drug tests.

    The mediator will make nonbinding recommendations to both parties. If the city and union don't agree with the recommendations, the city council decides on a contract.

    It could be several months before the mediator makes the recommendations.
    Last edited by captstanm1; 08-07-2005 at 10:16 PM.
    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.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Palm Beach Fla--Questions over Joint Dispatch
    By captstanm1 in forum Florida
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-26-2003, 07:43 AM
  2. West Palm Beach Fla--Firefighters Claim Discrimination
    By captstanm1 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-10-2003, 08:14 PM
  3. Palm Beach Gardens Fla--City and Fire Union at odds over contract
    By captstanm1 in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-24-2003, 10:25 AM
  4. Palm Beach Fla--Chemicla Fire Closes I-95 Ramp
    By captstanm1 in forum Fire Wire
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-08-2003, 10:44 PM
  5. 3rd Alarm at Station 47 - Palm Beach Co.
    By Firebug030 in forum Fire Wire
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-08-2002, 05:58 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register