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WTXL ABC 27 News

Firefighter Union fighting for higher pay

By Kandace Blake,


"We're working on trying to get to a happy medium so that we can make the best deals for our firefighters," said Mike Hadden, Deputy Chief of Operations for the Tallahassee Fire Department.

The Tallahassee Fire Fighters Union are fighting for higher pay for what they say will raise morale, recruitment, and retention in the workplace.

"Recruitment and retention is a big issue and they're looking to recruit and retain the best," said Hadden.

The firefighter's union says application numbers have dropped more than 80% over the past 10 years.

Lt. Joey Davis worries that without the pay raise they won't be able to compete with other markets.

"Other first responder agencies both within the city and outside of the city in our area have had large increases in their recent contracts. We're having to compete with those and other agencies," said Lt. Joey Davis, president of Tallahassee Professional Firefighters.

Right now, the starting rate for Tallahassee's firefighters is $44,000. That's 2,000 than Wakulla County's starting rate at $46,000 and 11,000 less than the national average at $56,000. That's according to the bureau of labor statistics.

"That number that's posted on job postings, etc., for other departments around the state, is something we're having a hard time competing with," said Davis.

Right now, they are currently in negotiations with the city of Tallahassee over a 1-year contract.

"The City of Tallahassee just needs to put that same level of effort to keeping us competitive as they are in other areas," said Davis.

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