CRESTVIEW — As city departments work to balance the budget, a firefighters union proposal would decrease its members' take-home pay between 3 and 5 percent, its president said.
Crestview Firefighters Association members have agreed to offer to forego incentive pay and a quarterly $90 uniform allowance, Capt. Jim Poirrier said during Monday’s Crestview City Council meeting.
All that is needed is to iron out details and sign a memorandum of agreement with City Clerk Betsy Roy, Poirrier said.
"The membership was eager to step forward to do what we can do" to help reduce the department's expenses, he said.
Poirrier said the union asked the department's management to agree to accepting the same cuts in their own pay, but was told "no" by Chief Joe Traylor, Poirrier said. "That hurts."
Traylor said he can't speak for non-union firefighters, whose ranks include management-level officers.
For starters, he said, non-union firefighters don’t receive a uniform allowance or incentive pay, which, Poirrier explained, is up to $175 paid atop firefighters' base pay for attaining certification in various professional specialties.
"The base pay of the firefighters was not reduced by the elimination of the uniform allowance and incentive pay," Traylor said.
Traylor and Poirrier agreed to meet with Mayor David Cadle to finalize the union's proposal and smooth over any differences.
"The main topic of conversation in my office for the past several weeks is how to save firefighter jobs," Cadle said. "I will meet with both of you (Traylor and Poirrier) and work this thing out."
Initially, the City Council asked department heads to trim $1.1 million from their proposals for the next fiscal year budget. Last week, city leaders requested trimming $615,000 from their proposed budgets.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.