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Pasco approves contract with fire chiefs

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco commissioners on Tuesday finalized a contract with fire battalion chiefs after signing a separate collective bargaining agreement with county firefighters last year.

The dispute, which started more than a year ago, was resolved when the county staff agreed to award the supervisors 3 percent pay raises retroactive to Oct. 6 and to allow overtime pay instead of "comp time" for extra hours worked.

"The overtime was a huge issue," said Robert Fuerst, a spokesman for Local 4420 of the International Association of Firefighters. "That was the major hurdle."

The one-year agreement covers 12 battalion chiefs. In a statement, Fuerst said he hopes the agreement "rebuilds the relationship" between county staff and the chiefs.

That relationship was strained early last year when the union rejected a proposal covering rank and file members. It was further damaged a few months later when another proposal to award 3 percent pay increases to county employees ignored the firefighters. The county finally signed off on an agreement with the union in October. It included the pay raise.

Pasco approves contract with fire chiefs 08/19/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 7:29pm]
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