Escambia County Ratifies New Contracts With Firefighters And Corrections Officers

September 17, 2021

Escambia County has ratified new contracts with the firefighters’ union and corrections officers’ union. In addition, the board approved the purchase of five new trucks for fire services.

Firefighters Contract

The Escambia County Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve the contract with the Escambia County Professional Firefighters, I.A.F.F. Local 4131. The last collective bargaining agreement expired three years ago and had been in negotiations since.

For information on the new trucks, and to learn which stations will get them, click or tap here.

“The men and women of Escambia County’s fire service put their lives on the line every day for the safety of our community,” said Interim County Administrator Wes Moreno. “These negotiations focused on recruitment and retention efforts, which included an increase in wages. The Board of County Commissioners thank these employees for their dedication to protecting our community.”

“We are grateful to the County Board of Commissioners for their willingness to work together to address serious issues affecting our County and the Fire Fighters that protect it,” said Lt. Nick Gradia, president of the Escambia County Professional Firefighters. ”

“By addressing Fire Fighter wage disparities and Fire Equipment deficiencies, Escambia County has demonstrated a willingness to address the needs of the department in order to provide a top-notch Fire and Rescue service to the Citizens we serve,” Gradia said in a written statement.

The base rate for each bargaining unit classification will be as follows:

  • Fire Fighter – 24 (Pay Grade A4) $12.99 ;Estimated Annual Salary: $41,698
  • Fire Fighter – 9 (Pay Grade A4) $16.80;  Estimated Annual Salary: $41,278
  • Fire Lieutenant – 24 (Pay Grade B1) $17.41; Estimated Annual Salary: $55,886
  • Fire Lieutenant – 9 (Pay Grade B1) $22.52; Estimated Annual Salary: $55,332
  • Fire Captain – 24 (Pay Grade B4) $19.75; Estimated Annual Salary: $63,397
  • Fire Captain – 9 (Pay Grade B4) $25.55; Estimated Annual Salary: $62,776
  • Battalion Chief – 24 (Pay Grade B8) $24.49; Estimated Annual Salary $75,527
  • Battalion Chief – 9 (Pay Grade B8) $30.45; Estimated Annual Salary $74,816

The pay rate for all current incumbents in each bargaining unit classification will be placed at the step closest to their current rate in the specified pay grade on the BCC Pay Scale without incurring a decrease in pay rate. In addition, a 2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) will be applied to each employee’s rate.

Employees covered by this agreement will be eligible to receive any across-the-board or COLA wage rate increase that may be approved by the BCC and provided to all other county employees.

After being placed on the BCC Pay Scale in the respective pay grade, fire fighters will receive an increase as follows:

  • Fire Fighter – less than 1 year (Pay Grade A4) Pay Step B
  • Fire Fighter – 1-3 years (Pay Grade A4) +2% increase
  • Fire Fighter – 4-6 years (Pay Grade A4) +4% increase
  • Fire Fighter – 7+ years (Pay Grade A4) +6% increase

Escambia Fire Rescue operates as a combination department with both volunteer and career firefighters. Career personnel staff 13 fire stations, including Cantonment, 24 hours a day. Century is staffed by career firefighters from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and operates with volunteers the remainder of the time. Other North Escambia area stations — Walnut Hill, McDavid, Molino and Beulah — are strictly volunteer.

Police Benevolent Association Ratify Union Contract

The Escambia County Commission and the Florida Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (FPBA), representing the certified officers with the corrections department agreed upon a new three-year contract on Thursday.

We are extremely pleased with the positive outcome of the contract negotiation for certified officers in the Corrections Department,” said Interim County Administrator Wes Moreno. “As part of the negotiations, the county focused on recruitment and retention efforts, which included conducting analysis on high vacancy positions and wages. These men and women dedicate their time to improve lives, and their service is greatly appreciated by the county.”

Effective upon the first full pay cycle following the effective date of this agreement, the pay grade and hourly base rate for each bargaining unit classification will be as follows:

  • Corrections Officers – Trainees $15.79
  • Corrections Officers $17.41
  • Corrections Sergeant $20.15
  • Corrections Lieutenant $24.49

Effective upon the first full pay cycle following the effective date of this agreement, current incumbents in each bargaining unit classification will be reassigned to the appropriate pay grade on the BCC pay scale at the pay step closest to the employee’s current rate without incurring a decrease in pay. After being reassigned to the appropriate pay grade and pay step, the hourly rate for current incumbents in each bargaining unit classification will be increased as follows:

  • Corrections Officers – less than 1 year (Pay Step B)
  • Corrections Officers – 1-3 years (+ 2% increase)
  • Corrections Officers – 4-6 years (+ 4% increase)
  • Corrections Officers 7+ years (+ 6% increase)
  • Sergeants – less than 1 year (Pay Step B)
  • Sergeants – 1-3 years (+ 2% increase)
  • Sergeants – 4-6 years (+ 4% increase)
  • Sergeants – 7 + years (+ 6% increase)
  • Lieutenants – less than 1 year (Pay Step B)
  • Lieutenants – 1-3 years (+ 2% increase)
  • Lieutenants – 4-6 years (+ 4% increase)
  • Lieutenants – 7+ years (+ 6% increase)

Pictured: Escambia County firefighters responded to numerous types of incidents in addition to fires, like this vehicle crash on Highway 29. NorthEscambia.com file photo.

Comments

6 Responses to “Escambia County Ratifies New Contracts With Firefighters And Corrections Officers”

  1. Bryan Caro on September 18th, 2021 4:49 pm

    @Mr.Meetoo

    A 24hr FF works a 56hr/wk schedule, so the hrly rate is lower but the annual salary remains nearly the same.

    A 9hr FF works a 45hr/wk schedule.

    There is built in OT per FSLA rules. It makes for two “long” checks and one “short” check.

    When the initial career crews were converted to 24hr shifts, the annual salary was broken down to determine the 24hr hrly pay rate.

    There is only one 9hr crew left in the county, Century, E519. The 19 designated the career companies when they were formed so data could be kept and analyzed for future expansion of career companies when the need would arise.

    Beulah will eventually have a 9hr career crew, so of course that will make the 2nd 9hr career crew in the county.

    Hope this answers your question.

  2. Mr.Metoo on September 18th, 2021 9:39 am

    What does the 24 and 9 mean for firefighters? How does a 24 make more per hour but less per year?

  3. Dave Coleson on September 17th, 2021 4:57 pm

    Outstanding to see the men and women who risk their lives DAILY get a much needed raise. God bless all our Firefighters, EMS and corrections officers! We support you all the way!!!!

    YES – raise my taxes to give them ANOTHER raise next year. 5 % across the board. They risk their lives. Most of us do not.

    Do not forget about them! The run TO the danger – daily. Remember that!

  4. Denny on September 17th, 2021 11:17 am

    If negotiations take three years, better start now on the next agreement!

  5. CJ Lewis on September 17th, 2021 10:47 am

    The county has a shockingly bloated bureaucracy. A group of citizens could probably review the county budget to identify millions of cost savings that could be translated into tax & fee cuts or reprogrammed to increase public safety salaries to include for Sheriff’s Office Deputies. Perhaps in the future, the public could be told here how the firefighter pay rates above compare to the City of Pensacola, other fire departments in the area to include NAS Pensacola and the rates paid to firefighters who work for the State of Florida? Even the new pay rates don’t seem like much money to run into a burning building. County commissioners get paid a lot more for just a part-time job with a personal assistant and all sorts of other perks. In Pensacola, according to the new FY2022 Annual Budget, all Battalion Chiefs are members of the city’s “Senior Executive Services” Group. Battalion Chiefs hold the “SES-01″ rank with a salary range of $73,132.80 to $135,803.20.

  6. Steve on September 17th, 2021 3:38 am

    Good to see my taxes going to a good cause finally rather than these social justice fairytale programs .





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