Firefighter Negotiations

Salaries and pensions are at an impasse. Tallahassee firefighters are asking the City Commission for a 20 percent raise over the next three years.

Stephanie Powell, a driver/operator for the Tallahassee Fire Department, said, "Fair compensation; there are basic human needs that need to be met and they're not being met without having an outside job or something to do in our part time."

The starting salary for a Tallahassee firefighter is $11.38 per hour. Tallahassee firefighters say they're ranked 46th in pay across the state.

Daniel Hunter, recent TFD retiree, said, "Two full-time jobs just to make ends meet. It was too demanding on family, so I had to make a decision and I chose another career that would support my family."

Bill Behenna, Public Information Manager for the City of Tallahassee, said, "The package we're offering them is not only competitive, but it's a very generous offer. The fact that TFD has enjoyed a very low turnover rate, we never have a problem retaining employees or recruiting employees tells us it's a good, strong workforce there."

Behenna says surveys indicate salaries for Tallahassee firefighters are above the norm.

The city has proposed a 12.9 percent raise. The firefighters union plans to march to City Hall Wednesday afternoon where they will meet in closed executive session to negotiate with city commissioners.