Hey District 2,
First let me start by offering my condolences to those of you that worked along side Mike at Cape Coral FD and/or were close friends with him. Whether we knew him or not, the loss has been felt across EMS. Of course, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his Cape Coral FD family.
I wanted to get this out and try to get everyone truly informed when it comes to the pay plan. Article 20 has four main objectives.
- Eliminate pay compression
- Ability to obtain top out pay
- Establish a clear path for salary progression
- Aid in retention
We do not negotiate COLA. COLA is based on the consumer price index. This is done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On April 30, 2018, the CPI was 2.5%. Receiving COLA, much less a 3% COLA, is NEVER guaranteed. What this pay article does is guarantee a 2.5% pay increase. So 2019/2020 & 2020/2021 we are guaranteed to receive 2.5% as long as our yearly evaluation meets expectations and you are not over the base pay for the next step. The pay for performance was a concession that we made. For comparison sake: If you make $50,000.00 a year and received a 2.5% increase instead of 3% across the board or COLA increase, the increase would be $1250 vs. $1500. That is a $250 difference or $9.61 per pay period. I do not think turning down a $1.3 million dollar pay plan, with a guarantee increase each year, is worth quibbling over $9.61per person per pay period. With the step plan in the contract, when it comes time to renegotiate in 2021, the minimums, maximums, pay for performance increases can all be negotiated. They might even be willing to negotiate COLA.
The average pay increase will be 7.5% going all the way up to 32% with the pay adjustments in October. We currently have 4 bargaining unit employees topped out in pay. With the new step plan, that will increase to 31. There are some, especially those that have recently hired on, that may not see any increases for a couple of years. There are some that may not see an increase with this contract period. I know when it impacts you, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture. Those impacted though have had the benefit on the front end and are now temporarily on pause while every other bargaining unit person is catching up. I ask that if you are one of those, please support this plan and let your brothers and sisters be made right for their years of service.
We have 11 employees that were full-time either went part-time or severed employment and returned full-time. These employees will have their pay adjusted to total years of service. This will have absolutely no bearing on their seniority. Their seniority will remain according to their last full-time date of hire. This was not in exchange for anything else. We simply asked at the table regarding anyone that left and returned they receive pay for all of their years of service and the county said yes. This is also recognized by FRS throughout the state.
With this step plan every medic that is not topped out will see an increase in their pay in October. The gap in pay between EMT and Medic is meant to be an incentive and encourage those that have a medic card to promote up. Apparently now it will be easier with the county putting on a shift friendly paramedic program beginning in September.
I am asking that each of you look at the overall picture and see how huge this is. This article does impact everyone differently. If our common goal is to make it better overall and for the future of everyone here and those yet to come, then “Yes” is the only way to vote. District 2 has been fighting for a longevity/step plan for as long as I can remember. Know that your leadership will begin working on 2021 language almost immediately after ratification of this article. It’s always about the future and seeing how to best secure it for each of you. I am ever so grateful for all of those that have put in the long hard hours, since the beginning of District 2, to pave the way, to get us where we are today.
I thank each of you that took the time and stayed after inservice to hear what we had to say, ask questions, and voice your concerns or displeasure with items. I know it was already a long day and appreciate the time you gave. We truly strive to do what is right for the majority.
Voting will be June 11,12, & 13 from 0730 - 1200 each day at the union hall. If you are on duty and are by there, you may stop in and vote. Please let your supervisor know though. Do not assume this is going to pass without your vote. We need each and every person, member and non member to come in and vote.
Please do not buy into rumors. Call me, text me, or email me (not to my county email) and I will be happy to give you the correct information.
Thank you for your support!
Angie Young, DVP
Local 1826 District 2