Brevard County Fire Rescue Firefighters are seeing an increase in base salary under a new three-year union contract that goes into effect on Friday.
Salary increases at the start of the next three years will range from 11.9% of EMT workers to 24.7% of EMT engineers.
The salary increase is designed to better match the wage levels of BCFR firefighters with their counterparts in nearby counties and cities.
The Brevard County Commission approved the contract with the International Firefighters Association Local 2969 with 4-1 votes, opposed by Commissioner John Tobia.
More than 400 BCFR employees are covered by the union contract, including another contract for supervisors.
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The salary increase depends on your job title and length of service. There are three increases — n Friday. October 1, 2022; and October 1, 2023.
These are the current base salary levels for some typical BCFR positions under the current union contract that expires, and what will happen to the base salary during the 2023-24 budget year starting October 1, 2023. ..
- Emergency medical care: By October 1, 2023, it will increase by 11.9% from the current $ 40,966 to $ 45,832.
- Emergency medical technician: By October 1, 2023, it will increase by 24.7% from the current $ 33,201 to $ 41,414.
- Fire Medic 2: By October 1, 2023, it will increase by 19.7% from the current $ 43,691 to $ 52,278.
- Firefighter / Emergency Medical Engineer: By October 1, 2023, it will increase by 14.5% from the current $ 35,887 to $ 41,089.
After they are hired, union members receive a “gradual” wage increase each year in October each year as their tenure in the sector increases. For most positions, the increase in each step is about $ 1,000.
“Better competitive attitude”
Brevard County Human Resources Director Jerry Bisco said the new contract wage levels will make Brevard County firefighters more competitive than those in the surrounding area.
“We believe we are in a much better competitive position than we have been for many years,” Bisco said.
According to Visco, these are expected to increase BCFR salaries annually as part of contract wage increases.
- 2021-22: $ 5.13 million
- 2022-23: $ 2.62 million
- 2023-23 Fiscal Year: $ 4.45 million
- Total contract: $ 12.2 million.
The increase in fire assessment fees charged to real estate owners approved by the County Commission in April will be paid for the union’s salary increase.
County Commissioner Brian Rover said he would support the contract and the associated salary increases. He said he didn’t want inexperienced BCFR employees (who couldn’t get a job in a high-paying department) to be in a situation where they were dealing with fire departments and emergency care.
However, Tobia, who voted against the contract, took into account the overtime of BCFR employees, why some BCFR rank-and-file employees were paid more than some county department heads. I was wondering if there was any.
Citing Visco’s data, Tobia showed that 27 fire department employees earned more than $ 100,000 and 185 earned more than $ 70,000 over the past year.
According to Visco, one fire medic 2 is $ 140,391 and one emergency vehicle dispatcher is $ 133,537 during the year from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021, mainly due to overtime work. Earned.
As a fiscal conservative, Tobia said he could not support giving union members preferential treatment over non-members through these salary increases.
He said the commissioner “chosen to raise the (fire assessment) fee to line up the pockets” of BCFR members.
According to Bisco, non-union county employees received a 2% increase in living expenses during the 2020-21 budget year starting October 1, 2020, and a 1.5% increase in living expenses in the 2021-22 budget starting Friday. I will receive it.
However, County Commissioner Rita Prechit said that increasing the base salary of firefighters would help recruit BCFR staff to fill vacancies, thus reducing the need for high-paying BCFR employees to work overtime. Said that it can be done.
Loeb said he would help firefighters raise their salaries as a way to support public safety.
“I don’t want to be in the minimum wage department anywhere near here, so I can brag to our people who are good managers of taxpayer funds. But God tells you to 911. I forbid you to call me. “According to Rover, he is answering the call. “For me, this is pretty easy.”
Curt Smith says BCFR employees can endanger their lives, disrupt family life with 24-hour shifts and overtime, and “keep us and our community safe.” Said.
And Vice-Chair Christine Zonka said that because of the dangers, most people would not trade their work for the work of a BCFR firefighter, no matter how high the wages are.
Michael Bramson, chairman of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2969, said the new deal will provide a “great framework” for the future “on a great foundation.”
He said the deal would help address future challenges and meet the county’s public security needs.
Rank and File members of the union approved the contract with a vote of 293 to 74. The union’s supervisory department approved the contract with a 12-4 vote.
Change of firefighting costs
Taxpayers in unincorporated Brevard County and four cities and towns will see a 29% increase in annual firefighting costs in November, opposed by Tobia, based on a plan approved by the Commissioner in a 4: 1 vote in April. To do.
The County Commission has approved a 33% increase in the county’s fire rating, offset by the equivalent of 4% of current annual income generated by federal dollar rates allocated through the US Rescue Planning Act. it was done.
Unincorporated Brevard County homes and businesses are affected along with the county-dependent municipalities of Grant Balcaria, Melbourne Village, Palm Shores, and West Melbourne.
An effective 29% increase is for the average Brevered homeowner of 1,400-1,800 sq ft for a single-family home or condo, with an annual fire cost increase of $ 57.03, or about $ 4.75 per month, and an annual valuation of 253.67. It means to be a dollar.
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