Contract discussions may finally be over for Disney World firefighters

Walt Disney World’s firefighters’ union may finally get to put their contract issues behind them. A magistrate, James Stokes, sided with the union on many of the issues they’ve been fighting Reedy Creek Improvement District over for the past two years.

The Reedy creek Fire & Rescue IAFF Local 2117’s president, Tim Stromsnes, said the union would accept the recommendation from the magistrate. The Reedy Creek Improvement District said the “just received” the report and “are still in the process of reading and evaluating it.” If they don’t take the recommendation, it will be voted on by the board of supervisors.

The recommendations are:

  • Steps in the pay scale should increase by $3,000 and should be retroactive to the end of the last contract. The Orlando Sentinel quotes Stokes’ report, which says “evidence shows the value of each step has remained unchanged since at least 2011…This is an inordinately long period of time for any agency to ignore the increase in the cost of living.”
  • The district should pay 90 percent of employees’ health-insurance costs and a premium increase of more than 10 percent in a year should trigger new negotiations.
  • The district should pay for a specialized type of body scan as part of its annual physicals. This could “certainly serve to reduce job-related illnesses or injuries, which will reduce service-connected disability retirements, as well as reducing workers compensation payouts.” Stokes said this should be “part of an overall fitness and wellness program in which participation should be required.”

Stokes did mention that the union was “at a disadvantage” because they “cannot assert the type of political leverage that a public sector union has traditionally enjoyed,” because “for all intents and purposes, the governing body is determined by the Disney Company – the primary property owner of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.”

News source/photo credit: Orlando Sentinel


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