TAMPA CITY COUNCIL
FRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 2008
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>>THOMAS SCOTT: Tampa City Council will now come to
10:07:58:21 We will stand for a moment of silence and then the
10:08:03:12 Pledge of Allegiance.
10:08:20:25 [ Pledge of Allegiance ]
10:08:29:28 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Roll call.
10:08:39:27 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.
10:08:40:22 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Here.
10:08:41:10 >>GWEN MILLER: Here.
10:08:42:10 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Here.
10:08:43:10 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: Here.
10:08:44:03 >>MARY MULHERN: Here.
10:08:45:00 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Here.
10:08:46:16 May I ask the City Attorney, Mr. Chip Fletcher, to come
10:08:53:24 forward and lay out our guidelines as we move forth
10:08:58:21 today on how we will proceed.
10:09:00:06 Let me also caution everybody that these proceedings
10:09:03:00 will be -- we won't tolerate any outbursts or
10:09:10:12 disruption of the meeting, so conduct yourselves in a
10:09:13:13 way that we can proceed.
10:09:14:21 And hopefully we can move forward and bring some
10:09:17:01 resolution to the issue.
10:09:17:28 Mr. Fletcher.
10:09:22:12 >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
10:09:23:16 My name is Chip Fletcher, City Attorney for the City of
10:09:27:10 We're here today to resolve a series of impasse items
10:09:30:24 in the collective bargaining process between the
10:09:34:09 firefighters union and the city of administration.
10:09:36:04 As part of that process, documents have been submitted
10:09:41:18 to you all by both the Firefighters Union and the
10:09:44:22 administration outlining the impasse items.
10:09:47:03 There are items in article 10 of the collective
10:09:50:27 bargaining agreement, in article 11, although within
10:09:54:27 each of those articles, there are individual sections
10:09:58:01 and in total we'll need to take action on I believe
10:10:01:15 seven sections altogether.
10:10:04:24 The goal here today is to reach final resolution on
10:10:08:03 each one of the issues.
10:10:09:09 Both sides are represented by counsel, and they will
10:10:12:28 both have an opportunity to present to you all their
10:10:16:21 Previously, there has been a special master that has
10:10:20:00 entered an opinion in this case that was submitted.
10:10:22:21 There are issues in that decision, which have been
10:10:26:06 resolved, others which are here before you for
10:10:29:03 consideration on impasse.
10:10:31:21 Both sides will explain their positions in relation to
10:10:35:09 that decision.
10:10:36:28 The Firefighters Union will go first.
10:10:39:12 They will present their case for what we've discussed
10:10:42:21 as being 30 minutes.
10:10:44:06 The administration will then present their position for
10:10:47:09 a time of 30 minutes.
10:10:48:24 The union will have up to ten minutes for rebuttal, if
10:10:52:28 they choose to do so.
10:10:54:12 And then we'll have an opportunity for public comment.
10:10:57:09 Then at the close of that process, you-all will need to
10:11:02:15 act on each one of these impasse items and achieve
10:11:05:21 clear resolution on each one of those issues.
10:11:07:21 Our goal here today is to have a clear resolution on
10:11:11:00 each one of the issues so we can move forward, get the
10:11:14:03 agreements ratified by the union, approved by the city,
10:11:16:28 and move forward.
10:11:18:01 So that will be my focus today is to reach a level of
10:11:22:22 clarity in resolution of these issues and to assist you
10:11:26:25 all in that process.
10:11:28:03 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you.
10:11:32:19 Also, what I would like to do at this time, two things,
10:11:37:27 one is, I have a document that I need to pass out to
10:11:41:06 all of the Council as well as the clerk a letter
10:11:45:01 presented to me yesterday to my office by Mr. Larry
10:11:49:16 So I want to ask if we can get those documents.
10:12:05:21 Clerk, administration, the attorneys.
10:12:21:18 I made enough copies so we have one for each Council
10:12:40:18 person, each attorney and the administration as well.
10:12:43:12 The second thing I would like to do is say because of
10:12:47:00 the time constraint, we need to be out by 12, with each
10:12:53:03 side presenting 30 minutes each, that gives an hour,
10:12:56:22 ten minutes rebuttal, that's hour and ten minutes, we
10:13:00:12 need to deliberate about 30 minutes, so that leaves
10:13:03:04 about 30 minutes for the public.
10:13:05:00 So I will entertain a motion that we limit the public
10:13:07:21 comments to 30 minutes.
10:13:10:10 And we'll see how we'll proceed.
10:13:12:21 We may have to limit each speaker depending on how many
10:13:16:24 people want to speak to about one minute.
10:13:19:03 We need to set a time block about 30 minutes.
10:13:24:01 >> So moved.
10:13:26:19 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Mr. Chairman, just a question on
10:13:28:12 that motion.
10:13:29:15 What if the two sides don't use up all their block at
10:13:37:24 the beginning?
10:13:38:24 What if they go 15, 20 minutes each, you might have a
10:13:42:00 little more time there.
10:13:43:12 Do you want to wait until they are done with their
10:13:45:10 respective half hours and see how we're doing?
10:13:49:03 >>THOMAS SCOTT: We can do that, but my suspicion is
10:13:53:15 both will use most of that time.
10:13:56:06 You want to wait.
10:13:57:00 That's fine.
10:13:57:19 I have no problem.
10:13:58:15 At this point, we will have the firefighters come and
10:14:05:27 make their presentation.
10:14:11:25 >> Good morning, members of Council.
10:14:13:28 On behalf of all of the Tampa -- well, my name is
10:14:17:18 Robert McCabe.
10:14:18:21 I have the privilege of representing Tampa
10:14:20:21 firefighters, and in particular, local 754, the Tampa
10:14:24:04 Firefighters Union, this morning.
10:14:26:21 On behalf of all Tampa firefighters, I want to thank
10:14:29:01 you for the opportunity to address you with our issues
10:14:32:24 I have some exhibits that I am going to use during my
10:14:39:01 I'm going to give those to the clerk, if I might
10:14:41:19 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yes.
10:14:42:22 >> Thank you.
10:14:43:04 Ladies and gentlemen, I have a lot of information, 30
10:14:57:21 minutes to get it to you, so I'll go as quickly as I
10:15:00:06 can, but I certainly would be happy to entertain any
10:15:03:06 questions you might have or any issues you feel I may
10:15:07:25 have raised by anything I say.
10:15:09:16 First of all, there are two articles as you were told
10:15:11:09 by the City Attorney currently in dispute.
10:15:13:09 The bulk of the contract has been resolved by tentative
10:15:16:10 agreement at this point.
10:15:17:10 These two articles are article 10 and article 11, and
10:15:21:01 they pertain almost in total to issues of pay.
10:15:29:00 Article 10 is the wage article.
10:15:30:22 And let me say that with regard to the provision in
10:15:37:24 article 10 that you're going to be asked to resolve
10:15:40:21 that pertains to a percentage increase for promotion
10:15:43:12 where the union had originally proposed and maintained
10:15:46:25 during collective bargaining negotiations 5%, we would
10:15:50:10 be willing to accept the 4% that's currently in there.
10:15:53:24 So hopefully that won't be an issue that requires much
10:15:56:21 of your consideration.
10:15:57:15 The rest of article 10 we do not accept, and that's a
10:16:02:06 large part of the basis of our dispute here today.
10:16:04:22 First of all, let me explain what we would like to see
10:16:11:19 happen when you vote and resolve these impasse issues
10:16:13:27 that are before you all today.
10:16:15:18 Number one, we'd like to keep the current step plan,
10:16:19:12 that being the step plan that exists in the contract
10:16:21:15 that expired September 30th of 2007.
10:16:23:25 Later in my presentation, I'll explain to you why we
10:16:27:18 believe that step plan needs to remain in place.
10:16:30:01 We would also like, and we have proposed, for purposes
10:16:33:01 of resolving this impasse, a 3% pay raise in addition
10:16:37:21 to the step plan that currently exists, a 3% cost of
10:16:43:01 living increase retroactive to September 30th of
10:16:46:28 That's consistent with what the city currently
10:16:53:12 Where we diverge from the city is we also want imposed
10:16:57:22 retroactive to March 30th of 2008 an additional 2%
10:17:03:15 Now, at this present time, all bargaining unit members
10:17:10:21 are still receiving their merit steps on their
10:17:14:21 anniversary date provided they meet the requirements to
10:17:16:24 get those steps.
10:17:18:04 They are still receiving those steps as a result of an
10:17:21:24 unfair labor practice dispute that was litigated
10:17:24:25 between the union and the city that the union
10:17:27:00 ultimately prevailed on.
10:17:28:10 The city had stopped paying the steps as of the
10:17:31:13 expiration of the current contract which we believe,
10:17:34:04 and correctly so, violated the status quo.
10:17:36:15 So the firefighters are still getting their steps, and,
10:17:40:21 of course, we want to see those steps continued when
10:17:43:15 you vote to resolve this today.
10:17:45:13 Now, I have an exhibit that I'd like to show you which
10:17:53:04 will demonstrate to you exactly what -- and you've got
10:17:57:10 a packet in front of you -- exactly what we're talking
10:18:00:18 about when we get into what we're looking for on this
10:18:05:04 pay proposal, and we've cost everything out, so you can
10:18:07:21 see what the cost will be.
10:18:09:00 First of all, let me tell you that the city's proposal
10:18:12:12 currently is a 3.5% merit increase with a 3% cost of
10:18:16:21 living, and it essentially, as you're well aware from
10:18:20:12 comments that have been made by the Mayor, eliminates
10:18:22:15 the step plan.
10:18:24:03 The city proposal doesn't contain any additional pay
10:18:28:03 for EMTs and paramedics, which the union believes is
10:18:31:13 very important in this contract.
10:18:33:12 The city in our analysis of the cost of their plan,
10:18:40:19 their plan we believe would cost approximately
10:18:47:12 Now, let me tell you about our proposal.
10:18:50:10 If you go to the very first exhibit that we have before
10:18:53:09 you, it's a two-page exhibit.
10:18:55:28 And I'm on page 1.
10:18:57:16 If you look at the 3% across the board increase that
10:19:01:24 we're proposing to the current step plan retro to the
10:19:06:24 30th of September 2007, you can see that what you've
10:19:12:00 got there is -- we show that in the first -- we've
10:19:17:15 broken this down so you can see different totals.
10:19:19:21 So when we show you the total for the 3% increase, you
10:19:25:07 see it at 33,076.
10:19:34:09 Forgive me for slipping on the commas.
10:19:37:06 Then if you look at what we've included for the
10:19:42:16 March 30th number, you see we're at $34,507,155.
10:19:48:16 And what's most important for you to look at here is
10:19:53:03 the total.
10:19:54:06 If you look at the total and the difference that
10:19:57:21 currently exists between where we are and where the
10:20:00:09 city is, on just the salary issues, the total
10:20:04:24 difference based on our proposal of the 3% and the 2%
10:20:10:22 is only $340,650 or .96%.
10:20:16:09 Now, of course, we've also included and if you keep
10:20:20:28 going to the right, you'll see what we've included with
10:20:23:09 regard to the EMT pay.
10:20:25:01 The EMT pay that we propose is 2.5% in addition to what
10:20:29:24 the members are currently being paid.
10:20:31:27 If they had their EMT certification, we'd propose that
10:20:37:03 Paramedics we proposed 7.5%.
10:20:39:28 So if you look at the totals there, you will see that
10:20:44:25 the total difference increases to approximately
10:20:48:09 $2,274,559 or 6.43% between what the city currently
10:20:56:06 proposes and what we propose in the event that you
10:21:00:22 include the EMT pay at 2.5% and the paramedic pay for
10:21:05:28 certified paramedics at 7.5%.
10:21:09:07 Now, clearly, the addition of this EMT and paramedic
10:21:13:09 pay increases the union's proposal.
10:21:15:18 But let me tell you why we believe it's reasonable.
10:21:18:27 I'm going to need you to skip in the packet that we're
10:21:21:15 talking about past the exhibits that are colored, and
10:21:26:18 you'll see them, there's four of them.
10:21:31:24 And I'm going to need you to flip back to two exhibits
10:21:36:09 totaling three pages that should look like this.
10:21:39:00 These documents that I'm asking you to look at now are
10:21:44:27 what our economist has put together to show what other
10:21:48:21 agencies that we believe are comparable to the City of
10:21:50:24 Tampa, and there are two comparisons that we're using,
10:21:54:09 similarly sized based on the population of the city and
10:21:58:16 its makeup and the local operating area, which we've
10:22:02:06 included as being Pinellas and Hillsborough County.
10:22:05:27 And when you look at these comparisons, you get the
10:22:09:07 opportunity to see that most of these agencies that
10:22:11:24 we're looking at pay their EMTs some additional money
10:22:15:00 for maintaining that extra certification.
10:22:19:03 Of the ones that don't, and you'll see them at the
10:22:21:10 bottom, I believe there were a total of eight, of the
10:22:24:27 ones that don't, five of the eight, forgive me, five of
10:22:30:19 the eight, pay their firefighter EMTs substantially
10:22:34:06 more in salary than does the City of Tampa.
10:22:38:09 So the bottom line there is, we think that to ask for
10:22:44:04 this EMT additional pay is certainly well within
10:22:48:15 reason, and that's something that the city has not
10:22:50:22 agreed with us on.
10:22:51:22 Then if you flip to the next exhibit, which is two
10:22:55:09 pages, you'll see that all of the agencies that we're
10:22:58:00 looking at as comparatives, all of those agencies are
10:23:01:13 paying their paramedics some money in addition to their
10:23:05:15 So we believe that what we're asking for with the 2.5
10:23:09:27 and 7.5 is certainly fair when you take into account
10:23:13:21 comparative agencies.
10:23:14:21 Now, in an effort to resolve this impasse, I want to
10:23:18:15 take you back to the first two-page exhibit that we
10:23:21:07 talked about.
10:23:22:03 In an effort to resolve this, if you look to the bottom
10:23:26:27 of the second page, what we would propose as an
10:23:32:06 alternative, if you members of Council don't feel that
10:23:36:06 the 2.5 and 7.5 percent are amounts that are
10:23:42:00 appropriate at this point, we also have an alternative
10:23:45:00 in here.
10:23:46:09 The first part of this exhibit shows the same numbers
10:23:50:12 that we talked about with regard to the 3% and the 2%
10:23:54:06 on September 30th of '07 and March 30th of '08.
10:23:58:21 The last portion of this exhibit shows a compromise for
10:24:03:25 the EMT pay going from the 2.5% to $30 biweekly, and
10:24:09:25 for paramedics, $110 biweekly.
10:24:13:04 It still gives them money that we believe that they
10:24:16:12 justly deserve, but it certainly comes down, if you
10:24:19:25 look at the final difference to the far right from the
10:24:22:27 number that we discussed previously, you go from
10:24:26:06 approximately 6.4% more than the city's proposal to
10:24:32:03 1.46% or $518,478.
10:24:37:06 Members of Council, we feel that is certainly well
10:24:41:07 within reason when you're talking about paying
10:24:44:19 firefighters and paramedics that perform such an
10:24:47:16 important service in our community.
10:24:49:03 Now, I've spoke to you a lot about cost in my remarks
10:24:56:09 to this point, but I need to make clear that throughout
10:24:59:15 the course of these negotiations and throughout the
10:25:03:18 course of this impasse proceeding, the city has never
10:25:07:19 taken the position that they can't afford the pay
10:25:11:06 proposal that the union has put forth.
10:25:13:19 And the union has during the course of negotiations
10:25:18:16 changed its position and come off its initial position
10:25:22:03 coming down.
10:25:23:24 But from the beginning, the city's proposal initially I
10:25:28:09 believe was 3.5% and 2.3%.
10:25:32:12 It may have been 2.4% and forgive me, I'm sure they'll
10:25:36:16 correct me if I'm wrong, and ultimately the city got to
10:25:39:09 3.5% and 3%.
10:25:41:06 It's important that you understand that this has never
10:25:45:04 been an ability to pay case, an ability to pay issue,
10:25:49:24 because I expect that what you're going to hear about
10:25:52:25 today from the city is budgetary issues.
10:25:57:27 And the city's position has been, essentially, we just
10:26:02:06 don't feel that this money needs to go to the
10:26:06:16 firefighters in this way, and that that is an
10:26:09:28 appropriate expenditure of city funds.
10:26:12:03 And to determine whether or not it's an appropriate
10:26:15:07 expenditure of city funds, I submit to you that what
10:26:17:21 you need to do is you need to look at what these
10:26:20:18 firefighters, your firefighters make in comparison to
10:26:24:24 other firefighters in similarly sized cities and what
10:26:29:21 other firefighters make in this local operating area,
10:26:32:25 which includes, we would argue, predominantly
10:26:39:00 Hillsborough and Pinellas County.
10:26:40:00 Now, one of the things you've heard from the Mayor is
10:26:45:00 it's critical to our long-term finances that the
10:26:47:21 current step program be eliminated and replaced by a
10:26:50:27 merit pay approach based upon a fixed percentage of
10:26:54:03 And I believe those are almost her exact words when she
10:27:00:13 indicated why she wanted to eliminate the step plan.
10:27:02:24 Let me point out to you that the current step plan if
10:27:06:10 you look at it, and the Mayor has given you the perfect
10:27:09:12 exhibit to look at, that current step plan does
10:27:12:18 represent a fixed percentage of salary.
10:27:15:00 It just varies in what that fixed percentage is.
10:27:21:09 If you look at that step plan that has been much
10:27:25:09 maligned during these negotiations in this impasse
10:27:27:27 proceeding, what you'll see is a step plan that
10:27:32:25 essentially has to have been constructed for a purpose
10:27:36:13 at some point.
10:27:37:06 This step plan cannot have been as random as I think
10:27:41:24 it's been portrayed during these proceedings.
10:27:44:06 And I submit to you there's a logical explanation for
10:27:49:01 why it looks the way it does.
10:27:50:27 It takes a firefighter at the City of Tampa a full 11
10:27:54:06 years to top out in the current step plan.
10:27:57:00 When you look at the beginning steps, they are very
10:28:00:09 attractive to a new firefighter.
10:28:01:21 And I submit to you that you have the most significant
10:28:04:15 likelihood of losing a new firefighter after he or she
10:28:08:18 has gained enough experience to be marketable to
10:28:11:06 another department.
10:28:11:28 And usually that doesn't happen in the first year or
10:28:14:13 the second year, but it certainly starts to become an
10:28:16:27 issue in the third, fourth and fifth years.
10:28:18:27 And if you look at this step plan, the way it's
10:28:21:12 structured is, there are some steps, I believe the
10:28:24:09 second one is a 9.4% jump, and then there are
10:28:30:27 additional steps that are significant jumps that
10:28:33:07 certainly keep a firefighter at the City of Tampa from
10:28:38:00 making a rash decision and jumping ship and going to a
10:28:41:06 higher paying department, such as Hillsborough County
10:28:43:07 or Temple Terrace, when they are about to get a
10:28:46:16 significant raise.
10:28:47:06 They may start for a little more money at Temple
10:28:49:12 Terrace, and they may get paid more in the end, but in
10:28:52:10 the near term, when they are in this current step plan,
10:28:57:12 they are looking at some pretty significant raises out
10:29:00:13 of the five-, six-year period.
10:29:02:21 Right around the time where they get to the point they
10:29:05:21 are about to vest, they get some more significant
10:29:08:18 And then after they get to that point, they start to
10:29:11:06 trail off and get into the 2.9s and 3s after they
10:29:16:06 vested, and then they get a significant jump in the
10:29:19:04 They get that 17.8% step.
10:29:21:28 Now, ladies and gentlemen, the way that is structured,
10:29:27:21 it does a pretty good job of keeping Tampa firefighters
10:29:30:12 from leaving the City of Tampa at the points where they
10:29:33:28 would be most likely to go.
10:29:35:09 It keeps them here.
10:29:36:19 It gets them vested.
10:29:38:04 And then in the end, that carrot is dangling out there
10:29:41:15 of once you make it to the completion of your 11th
10:29:44:13 year, you're getting a 17% jump, are you going to make
10:29:48:03 that if you go to another agency, you may make more in
10:29:50:27 the end but you won't make what you'll make here if you
10:29:53:21 stick it out.
10:29:54:12 You'll probably hear from the city about retention.
10:29:56:12 We've heard that before.
10:29:57:12 Retention is not a problem here.
10:29:59:04 I submit to you the reason that retention is probably
10:30:01:18 not a problem is because they have that step plan in
10:30:04:09 They may not be paid as much as some other fire
10:30:07:18 departments, but they've got a pretty solid step plan
10:30:10:22 in place.
10:30:12:27 Now, one thing the union has done in recognition of the
10:30:16:18 fact that the step plan does, as the Mayor's graph
10:30:19:22 shows, seems to go all over the place, is the union has
10:30:22:22 tried to smooth out these steps.
10:30:24:18 The union has tried to do this through the course of
10:30:27:06 the negotiations.
10:30:28:01 That hasn't worked.
10:30:29:09 That's not something the city wanted to do because as
10:30:33:18 far as the union is concerned, the city wanted to get
10:30:36:13 the step plan for whatever reason out.
10:30:40:09 Another thing I would point out to you is, if you look
10:30:47:25 at the letter the Mayor wrote to the Tribune on August
10:30:52:22 the 15th, you'll see an indication there at the end
10:30:54:22 that she discusses -- it's not an indication, she
10:30:58:21 discusses the Tampa firefighters and the current salary
10:31:01:21 issues in this impasse proceeding and points out that
10:31:03:28 she hopes that sets the tone for future negotiations
10:31:07:27 with the ATU and the PBA.
10:31:10:19 Clearly, we know this isn't an inability to pay, this
10:31:16:25 is part of the bigger agenda.
10:31:18:13 The problem is, the people being impacted by the agenda
10:31:21:21 are your public safety people.
10:31:23:09 Your firefighters, and it looks like next to come, the
10:31:27:24 That's not something that you should be willing to
10:31:32:03 accept, and it's certainly not something the
10:31:34:18 firefighters are willing to accept.
10:31:36:09 Now, the one thing that's most notably missing from
10:31:42:01 what we've seen so far from the city is why and how --
10:31:49:21 this city's finances are going to be so positively
10:31:53:06 impacted by doing away with the firefighters' step
10:31:57:16 plan, why is that going to make the big difference?
10:32:02:07 We haven't seen it.
10:32:03:15 We haven't heard it.
10:32:04:15 We haven't heard how that will somehow save this city
10:32:07:09 from whatever it is that the Mayor thinks she needs to
10:32:09:15 save it from.
10:32:10:18 And we haven't heard how that will make a big
10:32:13:03 difference and a positive difference in the
10:32:14:09 administration of the city.
10:32:15:03 The next question you all should be asking yourself,
10:32:21:01 why is the Mayor unwilling to pay this and why does she
10:32:24:28 want to go this route?
10:32:26:01 The most logical answer to the question is, well, the
10:32:29:13 firefighters must be being unreasonable.
10:32:31:18 That's not the case.
10:32:32:18 Nothing could be further from the truth.
10:32:34:03 What the firefighters have asked for in this case is
10:32:38:06 anything but unreasonable.
10:32:39:09 To the contrary.
10:32:40:06 I would have you look to the exhibits that we have, and
10:32:44:07 I was going to attempt to put one up here, but I don't
10:32:46:25 think I'll do that because I am limited in time.
10:32:49:24 So I'll just go through them with you.
10:32:51:16 The exhibits I'm referring to now are in your packet,
10:32:55:06 and they should be behind that first exhibit that we
10:32:58:15 talked about.
10:32:59:06 They look like this.
10:33:00:10 The EMTs are first, followed by a shorter EMT local
10:33:05:00 operating area.
10:33:05:27 Followed by paramedics, followed by the same thing for
10:33:10:04 If you look at these exhibits, ladies and gentlemen,
10:33:17:15 what you see is a breakdown in the -- and the union is
10:33:22:19 in blue.
10:33:24:22 I hope I'm not colorblind.
10:33:26:21 Maybe it's aqua.
10:33:27:18 The union has broken these down into two categories.
10:33:30:16 One shows where the union would be in comparison to
10:33:33:18 other comparable agencies.
10:33:34:24 One shows where the union would be if they were paid
10:33:38:16 our proposal of 3% retro to 9/30/07.
10:33:42:27 The other shows where the union would be and where the
10:33:45:15 members of the Tampa fire department would be if they
10:33:47:15 were paid on March 30th of 2008, the additional 2%.
10:33:51:21 Now, I'm going to remind you, what you're looking at
10:33:55:15 here incorporates the 2.5 and 7.5 percent, and not the
10:34:00:04 alternative proposal that we've raised today of
10:34:03:15 $30 biweekly and $110 biweekly for paramedics.
10:34:07:18 So, really, when you look at these, keep in mind that
10:34:11:00 the union's proposal would have the union further down
10:34:14:12 this grid if it was prepared in such a way that it
10:34:18:12 reflected those numbers.
10:34:19:18 But if you look at these numbers first for the EMT
10:34:22:18 firefighters, what you see most notably is the union's
10:34:26:10 proposal in terms of reasonableness is very reasonable.
10:34:29:19 It doesn't take us to the top.
10:34:32:24 Ultimately, we get closer to the top, if you flip to
10:34:35:01 the second page of that first firefighter EMT exhibit,
10:34:38:15 in the 12th year after they top out.
10:34:40:18 And then after that, they trail off even with the
10:34:43:24 union's proposal.
10:34:45:07 Pay particular attention to, though, is where the
10:34:49:24 administration's proposal gets you.
10:34:51:12 The current administration proposal, if you compare
10:34:54:03 yourself to those agencies, and you can read through
10:34:56:16 those agencies and decide whether or not you think they
10:34:59:00 are appropriate, if you look at where the
10:35:02:09 administration's proposal gets you, that's the one in
10:35:05:03 red, and it keeps these firefighters on the bottom or
10:35:08:12 near the bottom all the way out to the 12th year, and
10:35:13:07 it doesn't even get them above the current step plan,
10:35:16:21 as it exists today and the way we've shown it in
10:35:19:18 yellow, that step plan is with no raises.
10:35:22:00 That's assuming they just got the step and nothing else
10:35:25:00 for that period of time.
10:35:26:01 The city and their current proposal doesn't get the
10:35:31:09 firefighters above where the current step plan would
10:35:36:03 get them if they never got another cost of living
10:35:39:12 increase until the 19th year.
10:35:40:21 I submit to you that that's just unacceptable.
10:35:43:21 If you look at the local operating area, the union's
10:35:48:27 proposal does a little bit better.
10:35:50:04 It gets us closer to the top, which I submit to you is
10:35:54:00 where Tampa firefighters deserve to be.
10:35:55:27 If you look at the administration's proposal, it still
10:35:59:27 keeps them relatively close to the bottom until the
10:36:02:06 19th year of service when both the union, the
10:36:07:00 administration, or all three, the union, the
10:36:09:03 administration and the current step plan get to the top
10:36:11:24 3/what's important are the years in between.
10:36:15:04 That's when you need to keep firefighters, and that's
10:36:17:09 when you need to be able to bring firefighters who want
10:36:19:12 to work for the City of Tampa into this department.
10:36:21:25 The next exhibit that I'd have you look at is the
10:36:24:13 exhibit that shows firefighter paramedics.
10:36:28:04 It's structured the same way.
10:36:30:06 You'll notice that the union's proposal, including the
10:36:33:09 7.5%, again, I have to remind you, the union's proposal
10:36:38:24 keeps the union well below most of those comparative
10:36:42:07 The administration's proposal keeps the firefighters at
10:36:45:19 the bottom.
10:36:46:15 And even when you get out into the 19th year, the
10:36:51:27 union and the administration's proposals really
10:36:55:00 don't -- the union certainly isn't being unreasonable
10:36:58:00 in its proposal if you look at where they are falling
10:37:01:12 and the administration proposal keeps the firefighters
10:37:03:09 down near the bottom of comparable agencies.
10:37:05:27 The last exhibit is the firefighter paramedic certified
10:37:12:03 in the local operating area.
10:37:13:21 It's similar to the EMT proposal.
10:37:16:01 If you look at it, the union proposal inches its way up
10:37:18:27 through that 11th year utilizing the current step
10:37:22:06 plan that we have in place, whereas the administration
10:37:25:13 proposal doesn't get anywhere close to that until the
10:37:28:07 19th year.
10:37:29:00 Council members, I submit to you that it will be
10:37:34:25 difficult to keep firefighters around for 19 years when
10:37:37:09 they are falling into those comparison slots on these
10:37:41:21 Now, having seen these exhibits and seeing where your
10:37:48:03 firefighters rank, you need to ask yourselves, well, if
10:37:52:21 this is where they fall, then why is it that this is
10:37:55:27 the direction that the Mayor wants to take the city?
10:37:58:24 And the most logical reason, the most logical
10:38:03:04 conclusion would almost certainly have to be, well, it
10:38:06:13 must be a budget issue.
10:38:07:18 So we've looked at the budget, and we've had an
10:38:11:07 economist examine the city's budget and the city's
10:38:16:00 So I'm going to discuss some budget issues with you
10:38:19:15 briefly before I close.
10:38:20:18 Again, I remind you, the city has never said it can't
10:38:26:06 afford to pay what the union is asking for.
10:38:28:16 And mind you, again, I can't say this enough.
10:38:30:27 This proposal that we've given you today as an
10:38:34:22 alternative to the 2.5/7.5, that's even lower than what
10:38:39:16 you're looking at on those graphs.
10:38:41:12 And again, the city has never even said they couldn't
10:38:45:27 pay the 2.5 and 7.5 for EMTs.
10:38:49:00 So we had our financial analyst look at the city's
10:38:53:00 comprehensive annual financial reports, and you've got
10:38:55:27 those at the very end of the exhibits that I've
10:38:58:24 presented to you.
10:38:59:24 And our financial analyst prepared some graphs for you
10:39:04:07 to take a look at.
10:39:05:15 Now, what we've looked at here is the sixth largest and
10:39:10:21 interrelated funds with substantial fund balances.
10:39:13:04 That show unreserved and unrestricted surpluses.
10:39:17:22 And in this first document that you have, the
10:39:20:13 comprehensive annual financial report for 2007, what
10:39:25:15 you see is a combined unreserved, unrestricted fund
10:39:31:09 balance of $156,959,000.
10:39:35:27 Now, some of those items are designated.
10:39:38:21 However, those designations can be removed.
10:39:43:15 We submit to you that the city has the authority to do
10:39:46:18 The next document that we have for you to review is the
10:39:53:04 2008 comprehensive annual financial report.
10:39:56:06 And if you look at the bottom line on that, using those
10:40:00:21 same six funds, you see an unrestricted fund balance of
10:40:10:00 What we submit, members of Council, that this shows, is
10:40:15:18 that the city has not taken the position that they are
10:40:19:15 unable to pay because they are able to pay.
10:40:22:09 And what we're asking for, if you look at the
10:40:26:01 bottom-line numbers when we cost out our proposals, is
10:40:31:00 insignificant compared to the numbers that exist in
10:40:34:15 this budget.
10:40:36:03 The city has the money and the city could certainly pay
10:40:41:13 what the firefighters are requesting.
10:40:42:24 Now, if you look at what the Mayor has had to say about
10:40:49:01 this, you see the Tribune article, and that's the thing
10:40:51:27 I want to point you to most notably.
10:40:54:06 She says that these firefighters' increases have
10:40:56:21 resulted in large increases depending on seniority.
10:40:59:07 The average increase over 11 full years of service is
10:41:03:12 That's the average.
10:41:04:06 The Mayor wants to cut that nearly in half and increase
10:41:07:07 the time to top out to almost 19 years.
10:41:11:01 And she told you why she wants to do it.
10:41:13:22 She wants to set the tone for negotiations with the PBA
10:41:16:28 and the ATU.
10:41:19:06 Simply put, ladies and gentlemen, she wants to cut
10:41:21:06 costs by cutting the salaries of those who protect the
10:41:24:07 citizens of the City of Tampa.
10:41:27:27 If these firefighters were at the top of the chart I
10:41:30:12 showed you, then maybe the Mayor's position would make
10:41:33:00 more sense, but they clearly are not and her position
10:41:36:13 doesn't make any sense.
10:41:37:27 I'm going to close, and I thank you for the opportunity
10:41:41:13 to address you.
10:41:42:24 But I need to leave you with this.
10:41:45:03 Every day the men and women that stand around all of us
10:41:48:12 in this room report to the fire stations all over the
10:41:53:24 city, prepared to risk their lives for the citizens of
10:41:57:28 the City of Tampa.
10:42:00:03 I don't do that.
10:42:00:28 I don't know if any of you do that.
10:42:03:04 But most people don't.
10:42:06:06 When we look at what they get paid to risk their lives,
10:42:12:00 most of us, if we're being honest with ourselves, would
10:42:14:22 probably have to say, why do they do that?
10:42:17:18 And the answer for that is, they do it because they are
10:42:19:24 committed to being public servants.
10:42:22:28 They are committed to their brother and sister
10:42:24:24 firefighters with whom they serve.
10:42:26:06 But most of all and most importantly, they are
10:42:29:06 committed to the citizens of this city.
10:42:32:03 Despite the fact that this ongoing dispute has affected
10:42:37:03 morale, they've reported and done their jobs in an
10:42:40:19 excellent fashion throughout.
10:42:44:10 Despite essentially being told by their Mayor that they
10:42:46:24 are not worth what they are asking for, they continue
10:42:51:18 to serve us faithfully.
10:42:53:12 Now it's time, ladies and gentlemen of the Council, for
10:42:55:25 you to show these men and women that despite the fact
10:42:58:24 that the Mayor doesn't think they are worth what they
10:43:00:24 are asking for, you do, and the citizens of the City of
10:43:03:00 Tampa do.
10:43:03:27 Today we ask for your support in voting for the union's
10:43:08:00 proposals as we've set them forth.
10:43:10:19 Please give your support to these men and women, ladies
10:43:12:27 and gentlemen.
10:43:13:09 They deserve it.
10:43:20:03 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Mr. Chairman, question.
10:43:21:24 Point of order.
10:43:22:21 Sequentially, would you prefer if we have any questions
10:43:26:00 that we wait until after the whole proceeding?
10:43:31:15 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yeah, I think if you jot your questions
10:43:34:13 down, then once both sides have presented, we can ask
10:43:40:10 We will now hear -- pardon me?
10:43:46:13 Can you all hear?
10:44:15:12 >> Good morning, Chairman Scott, City Council members.
10:44:17:25 I'm Kimberly Crum, the director of human resources.
10:44:20:18 The city's contract with the firefighters is before you
10:44:24:10 today because our efforts to reach agreement primarily
10:44:27:21 on monetary items have been unsuccessful.
10:44:33:21 The fact that we're at an impasse today is certainly no
10:44:36:09 reflection on our appreciation for our fire personnel.
10:44:38:18 We know they are great.
10:44:40:00 We know that they risk their lives each day on behalf
10:44:43:09 of our citizens, and if that were the issue before us,
10:44:46:19 we wouldn't be here.
10:44:48:21 Those facts aren't in question.
10:44:50:06 The issue that we're here today regarding is around the
10:44:54:12 dollars available.
10:44:55:04 Legislative changes in 2007 and the passage of
10:45:00:07 amendment one in 2008 has significantly changed the
10:45:03:06 city's financial picture.
10:45:04:12 And now we have the difficult decision to make of how
10:45:07:04 we structure pay increases for all our employees.
10:45:10:21 And certainly, the firefighters are the first contract
10:45:14:12 up for negotiation since the property tax reform
10:45:17:13 measures, but it's knot the last.
10:45:19:22 You know, we recognize the economic challenges that
10:45:23:09 families face today.
10:45:24:07 In the current market, we hear in the media regularly
10:45:30:21 that some employees have their wages being held flat
10:45:34:18 while others are being asked to take a pay cut.
10:45:37:21 The city's goal is to continue to provide salary
10:45:41:06 increases for its employees, recognizing the
10:45:43:27 contribution they make to our citizens every day.
10:45:46:00 But we have to do that in light of the city's changed
10:45:50:18 financial picture.
10:45:51:18 If we could bring up the slide please.
10:45:54:15 The city's wage proposal as outlined here with the
10:46:04:24 negotiated increase or across the board increase of 3%
10:46:08:22 and a merit pay, an equal merit pay increase of 3.5%
10:46:13:03 for a total of 6.5%.
10:46:15:24 The union's pay proposal is a 5% across the board
10:46:19:00 increase with an average of 5% steps for a total of
10:46:24:18 In addition, they've added special assignment pay for
10:46:33:28 EMTs, paramedics, for airport -- and you can see the
10:46:38:16 totals here.
10:46:39:01 The delta or the difference between the city's proposal
10:46:41:12 of 6.5 and the union's proposal of 10 is an additional
10:46:46:24 cost of $935,000.
10:46:48:27 For the EMT differential at 2.5%, it's $400,000.
10:46:55:00 For paramedics, $1.3 million.
10:46:59:24 And for the airport and marine addition, $170,000.
10:47:03:21 For a total additional cost of over $2.8 million.
10:47:10:21 The cost of this contract that they are proposing is
10:47:13:15 simply not fiscally responsible.
10:47:16:00 For those of us who may not be as familiar with the
10:47:20:16 impasse proceedings, this is how we arrived here today.
10:47:23:06 In July of 2007, the city and union began their
10:47:26:07 negotiation and we made a lot of progress, other than
10:47:31:18 the articles that are before you, we do have tentative
10:47:33:28 agreement on the remainder of the contract.
10:47:35:24 Despite our best efforts, though, we were not able to
10:47:39:12 come to agreement on these financial matters, and so
10:47:43:00 the union declared impasse in December of 2007.
10:47:46:00 The state law dictates what happens from there and
10:47:50:21 guides our proceedings, and both sides have followed
10:47:53:01 those guidelines.
10:47:54:19 A special magistrate is an expert approved by the
10:47:58:04 public employees relations commission.
10:48:01:15 He was assigned to hear the arguments from both sides,
10:48:03:25 and he did so in April.
10:48:06:01 In June, he provided his recommended order where he
10:48:09:28 agreed that the city's pay plan fit the interest and
10:48:14:04 welfare of the public better than the pay plan
10:48:16:04 submitted by the union.
10:48:18:06 In additional and equally importantly, he agreed with
10:48:20:25 the city's position on every other item before you for
10:48:23:13 your decision today.
10:48:24:16 Both parties at that point had the opportunity to
10:48:28:06 reject all or a portion of his recommended order.
10:48:31:07 The city didn't recommend -- didn't reject any of it;
10:48:35:15 however, the union rejected it entirely.
10:48:38:09 And that's how the final decision for each of these
10:48:42:15 articles which are outstanding rests with you today.
10:48:44:24 I certainly appreciate your careful consideration of
10:48:47:28 the city's presentation.
10:48:49:06 Now I'd like to share with you the city's position on
10:48:52:28 each of the articles that you're responsible for
10:48:55:00 deciding today.
10:48:55:19 As possible mentioned, there are only two, wages and
10:48:58:25 special assignments, but there are several components
10:49:01:19 in each.
10:49:03:00 First of all, wages.
10:49:03:28 You'll be responsible to make a decision regarding
10:49:07:10 negotiated increase, merit increase, promotional
10:49:10:15 increase and salary review date item.
10:49:16:09 It's important to note that the negotiated increase of
10:49:18:12 3% applies to all employees.
10:49:21:03 Everyone gets it.
10:49:22:03 And it's retroactive to September 30th of 2007.
10:49:26:01 This increase of 3% is equal to the negotiated increase
10:49:30:22 for both of the last two years of the prior contract.
10:49:34:27 In 2005, our firefighters received 3%.
10:49:37:24 In 2006, 3%.
10:49:39:13 So for 2007, we're remaining at 3%.
10:49:43:12 And in light of our reduced revenues, it's an
10:49:46:18 appropriate increase.
10:49:47:06 One critical change to the firefighters' pay plan is
10:49:53:22 the replacement of the current step plan with that of
10:49:58:00 equal merit increases.
10:49:59:21 This change applies to those employees who aren't yet
10:50:02:16 at the maximum of their pay classification, and it's
10:50:05:18 similar to the contract that we completed with the
10:50:09:00 amalgamated transit union in 2005.
10:50:11:21 They represent our general employee population.
10:50:14:27 Equal merit pay plan replaces the current step pay
10:50:22:27 plan, which is inconsistent, out of date, difficult to
10:50:26:09 administer, and it averages an increase of over 5%.
10:50:31:07 This chart shows the pay plan for the firefighters, the
10:50:37:21 F-1 pay grade.
10:50:38:28 The horizontal access shows the number of years that a
10:50:43:06 firefighter has been employed with the city and their
10:50:45:06 pay raise for each of those years.
10:50:46:24 The vertical access shows the percentage increase in
10:50:49:22 the salary for each of those years.
10:50:52:00 You'll note that the starting pay for a City of Tampa
10:50:54:01 firefighter is $33,546.
10:50:56:12 And their pay reaches its maximum level at $63,498 at
10:51:02:06 step 12.
10:51:03:01 Some years, a firefighter receives as much as a 17.8%
10:51:09:21 increase, and you see that spike at the 12th step.
10:51:12:12 In other years, they can receive as little as 2.9%.
10:51:16:18 The city's plan isn't eliminating the senior step, but
10:51:21:16 we acknowledge that because of the equivalent merit
10:51:24:21 increases of 3.5%, it does take a couple of years
10:51:27:24 longer to get there.
10:51:28:24 No other city pay plan reacts the way the current
10:51:38:06 firefighters' step pay plan works.
10:51:40:15 So the city's proposal looks like this.
10:51:42:22 An entry firefighter begins his or her employment at
10:51:46:15 the same entry rate, and each year as they grow in
10:51:49:07 experience, they get a fixed increase percentage of
10:51:52:27 3.5% until they meet that senior step, which is similar
10:51:56:04 to the master patrol officer at TPD.
10:51:58:18 It's important again to acknowledge that we're not
10:52:02:00 eliminating that senior step.
10:52:04:00 And I want to make sure that with this graph, that
10:52:07:12 straight line just shows the percentage increase
10:52:10:00 remains constant, but the salary is increasing every
10:52:14:00 single year.
10:52:14:18 Two additional elements of the city's wage proposal
10:52:21:28 include a promotional increase of 4% and retention of
10:52:25:07 the employee's original salary review date for newly
10:52:28:10 promoted employees.
10:52:29:15 And this is to their advantage.
10:52:31:00 These adjustments just update the city's pay plan, and
10:52:34:06 they make it consistent with our other pay plan.
10:52:36:13 Now on to special assignments.
10:52:41:15 As the union representative has mentioned, the
10:52:46:16 proposals under special assignments are for EMT and
10:52:49:21 paramedic pay and also for airport stations and marine
10:52:53:04 Our philosophy around special assignment pay is
10:52:59:12 important here.
10:53:00:00 You know, in a budgetary year when the city has limited
10:53:03:13 monies to lay across its wage proposals, one of the
10:53:06:10 things that's been important to us is to make sure that
10:53:08:15 we use that money for impact and that we touch as many
10:53:12:12 firefighters as we can with it.
10:53:13:27 That's why we have remained at a 3% across-the-board
10:53:16:28 increase because everyone gets it.
10:53:18:19 And that's why we're placing the money in the 3.5%
10:53:23:00 merit increases in equal steps.
10:53:26:25 The union's pay proposal includes 2.5% for EMTs and
10:53:37:06 7.5% paramedic pay increase.
10:53:39:18 These are in addition to their proposal for five across
10:53:44:00 the board and 5% in their steps.
10:53:46:10 So this means that every EMT receives that 2.5% on top
10:53:50:16 of the five plus five.
10:53:53:00 And the paramedic receives 7.5% on top of their 10%, if
10:53:57:18 you will.
10:53:58:00 That means that paramedics could receive as much as
10:54:05:09 17.5% increase.
10:54:07:01 And EMTs could receive as much as a 12.5% increase.
10:54:11:06 These numbers are simply unrealistic, and they add over
10:54:14:27 $1.7 million to the city's current wage proposal.
10:54:19:00 As for the airport, the union proposal includes
10:54:24:28 $45 biweekly payment to employees who have completed
10:54:28:18 training in order to work at airport stations, but they
10:54:32:07 are not assigned there.
10:54:33:18 And the city reserves special assignment pay for those
10:54:36:21 assigned to the airport stations.
10:54:38:12 We encourage the training, but we don't really pay for
10:54:41:01 it until the person is assigned to work there.
10:54:43:09 And finally, the marine unit.
10:54:46:27 The union proposal includes designating three
10:54:49:13 additional stations as marine stations.
10:54:52:21 And the current contract language properly leads us to
10:54:56:25 the determination of the Fire Chief, and we feel that
10:54:59:15 determination needs to rest with our Fire Chief, and
10:55:01:27 that's why we've not accepted the special assignment
10:55:05:15 pay in that matter.
10:55:06:18 So that concludes my remarks regarding each of the
10:55:09:24 items that are before you today.
10:55:11:06 And now Bonnie Wise, director of revenue and finance is
10:55:15:18 going to address the financial considerations that
10:55:17:21 impact the city's position on these issues.
10:55:30:12 >> Good morning, Council members.
10:55:31:27 Bonnie Wise, director of revenue and finance.
10:55:33:28 I'll go through a brief presentation.
10:55:40:09 Many of the slides you have seen before as I went
10:55:42:21 through the budget presentation.
10:55:43:21 Many of the things I have discussed have come before
10:55:45:24 you at other points in time.
10:55:47:06 Thank you.
10:55:47:16 This is our fiscal year '09 tax operating revenues.
10:55:53:03 This is for the budget upcoming, the $423 million.
10:55:56:06 And I look at tax operating revenues because those are
10:55:58:27 the revenues that exclude our enterprise funds.
10:56:02:06 And you can see there were property taxes, about 37% of
10:56:06:00 our entire pie.
10:56:07:10 And we look at that because it is such a major source
10:56:10:09 of revenue for the city of about $159 million, and we
10:56:15:15 talk about how do we spend those monies.
10:56:18:12 We spend half of those monies for public safety.
10:56:20:25 And the other rest of the pie goes to various other
10:56:24:03 areas of city government.
10:56:25:21 Some of those parts of city government are restricted
10:56:29:09 in their use.
10:56:30:06 And if you take away those parts that are restricted,
10:56:33:25 we're left with about 30% of the city that's
10:56:37:24 So what I took away there was the public safety, our
10:56:41:00 contribution that's required to the CRA, CIT, CIP,
10:56:45:15 those types of things, gas tax that's restricted in its
10:56:48:15 use and our debt service payments.
10:56:50:06 So you can see there that we are left with about that
10:56:52:21 30%, about $129 million of that whole tax operating
10:56:57:10 piece of the pie.
10:56:58:21 This is the chart of the various wage proposals that
10:57:03:18 are before you today.
10:57:04:19 And I thought it was important to show you how that
10:57:09:00 compounds over time.
10:57:10:22 And what I did is I assumed the same rates would be for
10:57:14:03 today as in the continuous years.
10:57:17:00 If you start with the $34.3 million approximately what
10:57:20:01 we're paying for firefighter salaries, the blue line,
10:57:23:10 as you see, is the city's proposal.
10:57:26:12 And that has the wages.
10:57:28:18 That has the built in three and three and a half
10:57:31:15 percent already in there.
10:57:32:19 And you can see over time from 34.3 million, we
10:57:35:21 increase in a five-year period about 26% over that time
10:57:41:00 The green line is the union's proposal specifically
10:57:45:15 relating to wages, and you can see there that increase
10:57:50:15 and the difference between the city's proposal, the
10:57:52:18 blue line and the green line, but you can see how that
10:57:54:28 increase over time is about 44%.
10:57:58:10 And then if you include the special assignments in that
10:58:01:15 pay, that is the red line.
10:58:04:00 And then you can see the difference there as well, and
10:58:07:18 that difference from now to the end of the five-year
10:58:10:15 period is about a 52% increase.
10:58:12:25 So it's important to look at what does it cost us in
10:58:15:18 year one, although this is only one year that we're
10:58:18:09 talking about, but how salaries and wages compound over
10:58:23:06 time because you build on it as you build each
10:58:25:27 subsequent budget.
10:58:27:03 We all know what's happening in this economy.
10:58:30:10 These are just various headlines from -- this is from
10:58:33:15 the State of Florida, but we know what's happening with
10:58:36:21 real estate.
10:58:37:03 We see what's happening with other revenue sources.
10:58:40:18 You just have to pick up a newspaper to see what's
10:58:43:21 going on.
10:58:44:10 But specifically in Florida, we have various things
10:58:48:09 that were really different from my experience of 20
10:58:51:00 years in the business.
10:58:52:21 And that is June 2007 where we had special legislative
10:58:56:24 action requiring mandatory millage rollbacks.
10:59:00:00 And this wasn't unique to the City of Tampa.
10:59:02:01 This is for all Florida governments.
10:59:03:27 So as you recall to take you back to that, that was
10:59:06:21 when we had -- we were required to roll back our
10:59:09:21 millage 10.5%.
10:59:11:24 January of 2008, there was a voter referendum.
10:59:15:07 Amendment one passed.
10:59:16:12 That also forced assessed value declines.
10:59:20:00 And then as what happened occurred, going to be on our
10:59:23:09 referendum in November, is further limitations to how
10:59:29:04 values will change should those referendums pass
10:59:32:01 November of 2008.
10:59:34:04 We are really in a different environment than we were
10:59:36:13 several years ago.
10:59:37:13 We've had millage rate reductions, just this two-year
10:59:41:27 It would have had an extra $28 million in property
10:59:45:06 taxes had these two years not occurred.
10:59:48:18 And I show you this, this is the property tax revenues
10:59:53:27 that I just went back to 1999 just to give you a feel.
10:59:57:27 I could have gone back further to show you what the
11:00:00:06 increases have been.
11:00:00:25 And you can see, these are the percentage increase in
11:00:04:09 property tax revenues for the City of Tampa.
11:00:05:24 And you can see that even in some years, we had
11:00:09:00 double-digit percentage increases.
11:00:11:19 Very large increases.
11:00:13:00 And because it's such a big percentage of our total
11:00:16:16 revenues for our tax operating fund, the impact to
11:00:19:27 property taxes makes a big impact to the city.
11:00:22:09 So you could see there through 2007, which was our
11:00:25:24 highest year in this chart, and then the last two
11:00:29:07 years, where we had a reduction in the percentage of
11:00:33:18 increase in property tax revenues.
11:00:35:24 So it's quite dramatic.
11:00:38:12 We are in a different environment.
11:00:39:27 But the city has taken a lot of steps to address this.
11:00:42:19 I was just before you a few weeks ago talking about the
11:00:45:18 '09 budget.
11:00:46:25 We talked about how our personnel has changed.
11:00:50:13 Over the last two years, we've reduced our positions,
11:00:52:24 382 positions have been eliminated in the City of
11:00:56:04 We are taking many steps.
11:00:57:18 I showed you how we fixed the gap in our budget.
11:01:01:03 The things that we're doing this year to increase our
11:01:05:24 revenues, to decrease our expenses to get ready for '09
11:01:13:09 I talked to you a lot about fund balance and reserves.
11:01:17:00 I do that because I feel it is very important.
11:01:19:03 These are excerpts from true rating agency reports that
11:01:22:12 in October of 2006, I stood before you and told you
11:01:25:25 that our bonds had been upgraded.
11:01:29:00 These are from moody's and Fitch ratings where they
11:01:31:27 specifically look at one of the factors is our reserves
11:01:36:07 and our policies in regard to such.
11:01:39:13 And we talk about that because it impacts our borrowing
11:01:43:15 And so intuitively, you understand that if we're able
11:01:48:00 to borrow at a lower rate, it costs us less money.
11:01:51:07 But just if it was a .25% difference in a bond issue
11:01:55:09 for a 30-year bond issue over 30 years, that would save
11:01:58:18 us a million-and-a-half dollars.
11:02:00:15 So it's real dollars and why that's so important.
11:02:03:15 And then, of course, the other guidelines that we
11:02:05:21 follow from the GFOA, the Government Finance Officers
11:02:10:12 They talk about prudently adopted guidelines for each
11:02:14:06 You should have adequate levels for revenue shortfalls.
11:02:16:24 We've all anticipated that.
11:02:17:28 Unanticipated expenditures.
11:02:19:06 We've had our share of that with electric and fuel, of
11:02:22:09 Fund operating expenditures, and discourage the use of
11:02:26:27 one-time revenues for ongoing expenditures.
11:02:30:00 Having said all that, you know we are committed to
11:02:34:27 Tampa fire rescue.
11:02:36:06 Since 2004, we have added 45 positions in this area
11:02:40:13 while many other departments have -- positions have
11:02:44:18 And, of course, in our '09 budget, you know we have put
11:02:48:00 in for up to 36 firefighters under this new grant.
11:02:55:09 We also made various capital improvements to our fire
11:03:01:12 facilities, two new replacement stations coming between
11:03:04:21 the years 2007 and 11.
11:03:07:04 New vehicles.
11:03:07:24 We, of course, recognize that our firefighters live in
11:03:11:07 these fire stations, and their conditions need to be
11:03:13:15 met and upgraded.
11:03:16:09 And we have made that effort to do so.
11:03:18:18 This is regarding some storms that came our way.
11:03:27:03 Charley, Frances and Jeanne came through the City of
11:03:29:13 Tampa in 2004.
11:03:30:12 They were not hurricanes when they came through.
11:03:32:16 However, those storms collectively cost us about
11:03:37:18 $12 million for debris cleanup and other infrastructure
11:03:42:00 improvements and all the expenses that we have
11:03:46:19 associated with that.
11:03:47:12 About 11 million of that was reimbursed ultimately.
11:03:51:15 It took a long time, so we needed the cash to have
11:03:55:06 Once again, I just remind you, these are hurricanes
11:03:58:03 when they came here.
11:03:59:03 We talked a lot over the years about property insurance
11:04:05:01 and our inability to obtain adequate property insurance
11:04:07:19 for our facilities in the market.
11:04:09:28 We have 1.9 billion of assets in the city.
11:04:15:16 We have $50 million of storm coverage for our water and
11:04:20:10 wastewater facilities, and $50 million of property
11:04:24:19 insurance for all the other city assets.
11:04:27:18 Our top ten assets are about $1.1 billion.
11:04:31:21 Many of those assets are right on the water.
11:04:34:03 Convention Center, the Performing Arts Center.
11:04:38:24 TPD district one right downtown.
11:04:43:15 So we are only minimally insured in our property area.
11:04:50:13 We talked a lot over the years about what's happening
11:04:54:07 with revenue and expenditures.
11:04:57:00 Sales tax is down from last year to '09, $2.1 million.
11:05:03:03 Yesterday, we got revised estimates from the state
11:05:05:13 because we saw that the state was also facing other
11:05:09:06 Just last night and I didn't even get a chance to
11:05:11:09 update my chart, our sales tax revenues dropped another
11:05:14:19 $1.4 million from what the state proposed in our fiscal
11:05:19:01 year '09 hasn't even started yet and the state is
11:05:22:12 already giving us revised estimates.
11:05:24:00 Municipal revenue sharing dropped another $350,000.
11:05:27:16 Our other -- while our other revenues are flat or
11:05:30:21 declining, our property tax, as you saw, is declining
11:05:34:12 as well.
11:05:35:22 What we're faced with, too, on the other side is the
11:05:38:00 cost of chemicals, the cost of electric, the cost of
11:05:42:21 These are all the things that must be considered when
11:05:45:04 deciding how to manage the city's budget.
11:05:47:15 And I just wanted to share that information with you.
11:05:50:16 With that, I'm going to turn it over to Tom Gonzalez,
11:05:54:03 who is going to provide some additional information.
11:06:04:22 >> Good morning members of Council, Tom Gonzalez, an
11:06:07:06 outside labor counsel for the city.
11:06:09:01 I would like to take a couple of minutes and review,
11:06:11:21 first of all, the history of negotiations with the
11:06:15:12 international association of firefighters going back
11:06:17:24 many, many years, and also some of the, I think,
11:06:21:07 salient aspects of the process involved in an impasse
11:06:25:22 resolution, particularly with respect to those matters
11:06:28:00 that are set forth in statute.
11:06:29:24 As I think the Council is aware, this is the third time
11:06:34:04 in the history of the relationship between the
11:06:35:19 firefighters and the city where they have had to resort
11:06:40:24 to the special master process.
11:06:42:15 This is the third time that a special master was
11:06:44:22 brought in, a special master being someone who has an
11:06:48:12 extensive amount of experience in labor relations both
11:06:50:24 in the private and public sector.
11:06:52:15 And is appointed by the state public employee relations
11:06:55:00 commission for that reason from a list from which the
11:06:59:13 two parties are able to select either the least
11:07:02:15 objectionable or most desirable depending on how you
11:07:05:24 want to view the process.
11:07:06:24 In the previous two impasses that came before previous
11:07:12:06 Councils, not the current Council, not the current
11:07:15:03 administration, in both those cases, the Council went
11:07:18:12 with what the special master recommended, which, of
11:07:20:22 course, is what the process envisions.
11:07:24:15 Each of those two cases, Council went right down the
11:07:27:18 line and gave deference to the opinion of someone who
11:07:32:04 is from the outside who has no ax to grind and who has
11:07:35:00 simply asked for his or her position in the matter.
11:07:37:15 The statute that puts forth the procedures for the
11:07:43:16 special master are two statutes, basically.
11:07:48:06 The one I think that's most important today is 447.405,
11:07:52:24 which is entitled factors to be considered by the
11:07:55:12 special magistrate.
11:07:57:03 There's a listing of four factors in that statute.
11:08:00:16 The case law is very, very clear that none of them is
11:08:03:07 supposed to be predominant.
11:08:05:06 The ranking is not an ordinal ranking, in other words,
11:08:09:28 they are not listed in the order of their importance.
11:08:12:15 But they are the comparison of the annual income of
11:08:15:27 employment of public employees in comparison with the
11:08:19:09 income of employees maintaining or performing similar
11:08:24:15 work under like or similar skills under the same or
11:08:27:24 similar working conditions in the local operating area
11:08:31:16 I think everyone who is involved in this case ever
11:08:35:12 involved in negotiations involving this area in the
11:08:38:13 central part of Florida would concede that there is a
11:08:41:07 local operating market and it consists, as Mr. Ken
11:08:46:12 McCabe pointed out, in large part of Pinellas County
11:08:49:03 and Hillsborough County, Polk, Sarasota, Pasco and
11:08:53:06 And in addition, the statute instructors that the
11:08:55:27 special master is to look at the comparison of the
11:08:57:24 annual income with the annual income of employment of
11:09:00:18 public employees and similar public employee
11:09:03:07 governmental bodies of comparable size within the
11:09:05:28 And the exhibits that you've been given by the union
11:09:12:01 today, I think that he bear the comment that, first of
11:09:14:21 all, with the exception of a couple of pages at the
11:09:17:09 end, all of this was presented to the special master.
11:09:20:25 All of this was considered by the special master.
11:09:23:06 But I would also invite the Council to take a look at
11:09:27:18 what was done in the context of the presentation, and
11:09:31:18 that is, when you look at the union's attempt to comply
11:09:36:19 with the dictate that you will look at places of
11:09:39:15 similar size throughout the state and it's listed under
11:09:45:13 the income by year of service, department, 75,000 in
11:09:49:03 the 7th largest county, I think it's worth pointing
11:09:52:19 out that this graph contains a number of jurisdictions,
11:09:55:25 almost all of which are in south Florida, which under
11:09:59:00 any definition is always considered a separate market.
11:10:02:06 And most importantly, contains cities such as Deerfield
11:10:06:24 Beach, Davie, Coral Springs, Sunrise, Pembroke Pines
11:10:11:03 and on and on and on, which, clearly, are not
11:10:15:00 comparable to the firefighters in Tampa.
11:10:17:24 And, of course, as the Council knows through its
11:10:21:13 previous work, the whole art of comparing fire
11:10:25:01 departments is different because there are differences
11:10:27:03 in the number of hours that is worked in the workweek.
11:10:30:06 Some like the City of Tampa work 48.
11:10:32:09 Some still work 52.
11:10:34:01 There are differences in pensions.
11:10:35:21 There are differences in benefits.
11:10:37:01 And so at best, these comparisons are always very, very
11:10:41:06 But I would suggest that when you look at the
11:10:43:25 comparison offered in the 7th -- seven largest
11:10:47:12 counties, that you'll find that the local operating
11:10:49:18 area, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Hillsborough County,
11:10:53:25 Largo are all pretty down toward the end of these
11:10:58:03 charts, which, of course, has always been the case,
11:11:01:22 based on the number of factors including tax base and
11:11:04:18 population and any number of things.
11:11:05:28 Even when you go to the local operating areas that are
11:11:12:01 used and when you look at the compares to the union,
11:11:18:18 again, you have places like Oldsmar, east lake,
11:11:21:09 Gulfport, which have traditionally paid better in terms
11:11:24:04 of income in recognition of the fact of the difference
11:11:27:13 in working conditions as it relates to pension, as it
11:11:30:01 relates to benefits and those other kinds of things.
11:11:32:18 I think clearly, the major point and the thing I'd
11:11:38:09 invite Council to look at is that the third factor in
11:11:42:09 the section of the statute that deals with the special
11:11:47:03 masters process is the interest and welfare of the
11:11:50:18 In fact, when you go to the law about resolution of
11:11:52:25 impasses, it instructors you as the legislative body to
11:11:56:09 take the action that it seems to be in the public
11:11:58:18 interest, including all the constituents, including the
11:12:02:07 employees, and that is, in fact, what this special
11:12:04:21 master looked at in deciding that although it was
11:12:09:15 understandable that the union was asking for what it
11:12:12:09 was asking for, that the city's case -- and it's rare,
11:12:14:27 I think, for an administration to be upheld by a
11:12:17:15 special master -- that the city's case was made not on
11:12:20:28 a question of ability to pay because what the city
11:12:24:00 meant and was always understood as meaning is that
11:12:27:22 ability to pay is a matter of arithmetic.
11:12:30:15 Clearly, the City Council doesn't have to give raises
11:12:32:24 to any other bargaining unit.
11:12:35:09 Doesn't have to buy equipment.
11:12:37:10 Can theoretically give all the money to firefighter
11:12:39:00 raises but decisions have to be made.
11:12:41:13 This isn't an ability to pay.
11:12:44:00 It is an expenditure and stewardship of funds.
11:12:46:04 And I would note in that regard that the law provides
11:12:51:13 that whatever the Council does can only be effective
11:12:55:09 prospectively and yet the administration's position has
11:12:58:24 always been that it is willing to go retroactively,
11:13:01:21 even though the law doesn't require it to do so in the
11:13:06:21 So the city has made stride.
11:13:08:00 The city has attempted to do this.
11:13:10:22 And I will guarantee you that no presentation was ever
11:13:13:15 made that included any assertion that these folks were
11:13:18:01 worth anything they got paid because that's not true,
11:13:20:12 and it wasn't part of the presentation.
11:13:22:03 It is what it remains and always has been, and that is
11:13:28:06 a question of decisions that have to be made respecting
11:13:31:00 the allocation of resources and a third party found the
11:13:34:00 administration was rational and reasonable in that
11:13:36:09 regard, and that position is urged here today.
11:13:38:24 Thank you.
11:13:46:00 >> Council members, Darrell Smith, Chief of Staff.
11:13:48:28 As the Mayor said in her budget presentation before
11:13:52:00 Council on August the 7th, the impasse situation
11:13:55:06 before you today has nothing to do with how we feel
11:13:57:09 about our firefighters.
11:13:58:06 We think they are great, and this administration has
11:14:03:03 consistently provided strong support for the fire
11:14:06:10 The Mayor also said during her budget presentation that
11:14:08:24 the -- that we value all of our employees, fire,
11:14:13:09 police, and every general employee who worked very hard
11:14:16:24 for our citizens.
11:14:17:28 And we believe that it's important that all employees
11:14:21:09 are treated equal, fairly, and that they are
11:14:25:03 compensated properly for the job that they perform and
11:14:28:07 that they should be able to expect reasonable increases
11:14:31:12 in their salary.
11:14:32:21 The financial situation for the city has changed in the
11:14:38:16 post-property tax environment.
11:14:40:22 During the last two years, we have lost over
11:14:42:25 $28 million in recurring annual property tax revenue.
11:14:46:00 As a result of this loss of property tax revenue, the
11:14:50:00 city --
11:14:55:18 Chairman, may I continue?
11:14:57:21 As a result of the loss of property tax revenue, the
11:14:59:09 city has eliminated 382 positions over the past two
11:15:02:06 years or 7.6% of the workforce in order to balance our
11:15:08:00 Monies for salary increases, special assignment pay and
11:15:13:15 employee positions all come from the same pot.
11:15:15:22 While we have been able to eliminate positions without
11:15:19:03 affecting major services, our opportunities to continue
11:15:22:28 to shrink the workforce without affecting these
11:15:25:21 services is becoming increasingly more limited.
11:15:29:28 Further, of the 382 positions that were eliminated, 148
11:15:35:19 of those positions were filled.
11:15:37:18 And the resulting layoffs dramatically affected
11:15:41:21 people's lives.
11:15:43:12 The Council has publicly expressed concern about
11:15:45:25 layoffs, the Mayor is concerned about layoffs, and in
11:15:49:19 order to meet the financial realities facing the city
11:15:53:06 in the coming years, we must reduce the amount of pay
11:15:56:25 Saving monies by avoiding unrealistic pay increases
11:16:01:07 will decrease the number of eliminated positions and
11:16:04:27 decrease the number of layoffs that we would have in
11:16:07:18 future years.
11:16:08:10 If the Council gives more than 6.5% package proposed by
11:16:12:22 the administration and does not do away with the
11:16:15:27 current antiquated step program, it is very likely that
11:16:19:06 the resulting pay package will serve as a union
11:16:22:19 bargaining goal during negotiations that are currently
11:16:25:13 underway with the ATU union and that will occur next
11:16:29:28 year with the police union.
11:16:31:12 And it is reasonable to expect that those unions will
11:16:35:04 seek the same level of concessions during negotiation
11:16:38:12 for the respective contracts.
11:16:40:06 If that happens, wages across the board in the city
11:16:44:03 will continue to rise as they did in the preproperty
11:16:47:21 tax cutback era.
11:16:49:21 That means when the Mayor produces her budget for next
11:16:52:15 year, more jobs are going to be affected.
11:16:54:28 And given the cutbacks we already have had in the city,
11:16:59:24 it's likely services will be affected.
11:17:01:27 We are confident that Council agrees with the
11:17:04:22 administration that we should preserve as many jobs as
11:17:08:15 possible so that the public can continue to be served
11:17:11:24 in a quality manner.
11:17:13:12 If we continue to give high pay increases to each
11:17:17:27 union, then ultimately jobs will suffer and our ability
11:17:20:21 to deliver the quality services that the public expects
11:17:23:21 will decrease.
11:17:25:00 We respectfully ask Council to resolve the impasse
11:17:29:18 situation by approving the recommendations provided by
11:17:32:25 the administration and termed appropriate by this
11:17:39:04 special magistrate.
11:17:40:07 I would also like to acknowledge the hard work that has
11:17:43:24 been done by both contract negotiation teams.
11:17:46:07 They have been bargaining in good faith for over one
11:17:49:21 year trying to reach an agreement on this contract, and
11:17:52:24 we can all be proud of the dedication, knowledge, and
11:17:56:07 professionalism that they have demonstrated throughout
11:17:58:21 this process.
11:17:59:13 Chairman Scott, Council members this concludes the
11:18:03:16 city's presentation.
11:18:04:09 We thank you for your consideration.
11:18:08:28 >>THOMAS SCOTT: How much time did they go over?
11:18:12:06 >>THE CLERK: They had an additional three minutes.
11:18:14:00 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
11:18:14:18 They had an additional three minutes, so we're going to
11:18:16:28 afford the union the additional three minutes on
11:18:19:06 rebuttal, so you have a total of 13 minutes on
11:18:29:15 >> After listening to the city's presentation, I'm
11:18:31:19 still left wondering, is this an ability to pay or not?
11:18:35:09 You've heard so much about the budget and heard so much
11:18:37:09 about stewardship of city funds, and I still haven't
11:18:40:16 seen exactly how the firefighters taking what the city
11:18:43:15 is offering is going to ensure the city's financial
11:18:46:18 health in the future.
11:18:47:15 I haven't seen it during the negotiations, and I
11:18:49:24 haven't seen it here today.
11:18:51:06 And more importantly, you haven't seen it.
11:18:53:22 You know, one of the exhibits that I showed you earlier
11:19:01:03 has a line item in it, and it's the third in a series
11:19:04:09 of exhibits at the end that deal specifically with the
11:19:07:15 It contains a line item.
11:19:08:28 That was one of the exhibits prepared by Mr. Jessup for
11:19:11:09 the union, and it contains a line item that's
11:19:14:21 highlighted in yellow that says very specifically
11:19:18:06 nondepartmental, and then it has pay adjustments, and
11:19:21:00 it has an amount allotted of $3.6 million.
11:19:26:04 As of the 13th of August, that money had still not be
11:19:32:10 spent, hadn't been moved, hadn't been spent.
11:19:35:06 Our question is, where is it?
11:19:38:21 We believe that's money that was allotted to deal with
11:19:40:28 our raise issues this year.
11:19:44:01 Because the other unions and the other employees, as we
11:19:47:00 near the end of the fiscal year, we believe have
11:19:49:18 already been dealt with.
11:19:50:24 I have to comment on the issue of how this pay proposal
11:20:01:13 affects these firefighters, and I'm going to point you
11:20:03:27 back to that exhibit, firefighter EMT classification
11:20:07:21 and firefighter paramedic.
11:20:09:00 If you just look at the local operating areas, and you
11:20:12:15 look at the departments that we put in there, I have to
11:20:16:00 disagree with Mr. Gonzalez, and, unfortunately, though,
11:20:19:00 I have a great deal of respect for him as a lawyer, we
11:20:22:12 don't always agree on our positions because of the
11:20:24:21 sides that we're on.
11:20:25:25 I have to disagree with him with regard to the
11:20:29:04 comparable agencies, and with regard to the agencies
11:20:33:21 that we selected, we believe the agencies in the other
11:20:37:28 parts of the state are comparable agencies.
11:20:40:25 So we believe that's worthy of your consideration.
11:20:43:19 But if you want to stick just to the local operating
11:20:46:10 area, members of Council, take a look at it.
11:20:50:25 Look at where the city's pay proposal has your Tampa
11:20:55:12 firefighters if we stick to that.
11:20:57:06 And they are telling you it's fair.
11:21:00:21 Ms. Crum said it would take a couple of years longer to
11:21:06:04 get to the top of the pay plan.
11:21:08:10 Actually, it will take seven.
11:21:10:03 That's not acceptable to the firefighters that serve
11:21:14:22 your community, and it shouldn't be acceptable to you.
11:21:17:18 And I want you to remember, I gave you an alternative
11:21:23:00 to the 2.5 and 7.5 percent.
11:21:25:18 That alternative and our alternative proposal is going
11:21:30:21 forward from your action today.
11:21:33:18 We're not asking for that retroactive.
11:21:36:04 So that is a plan that goes from this day forward.
11:21:40:25 Ms. Wise showed you the property taxes and how
11:21:48:27 dramatically they had risen in some past years.
11:21:54:06 Today you're being told that it's necessary for
11:21:56:19 purposes of stewardship in this city and appropriate
11:22:00:06 allocation of resources to do what the city proposes
11:22:04:01 doing to these firefighters.
11:22:05:12 I have to ask, having seen some of those numbers, where
11:22:11:19 did those excesses when the increases were 20%, where
11:22:15:27 did that money go?
11:22:17:24 And how come it's no longer available?
11:22:19:21 Let me briefly point out that when I'm talking about
11:22:31:13 the EMT and med, I thought this was clear, but just for
11:22:34:16 purposes of clarity, we're proposing the EMT and medic
11:22:38:00 proposal that we gave you, the 30 and 110 biweekly from
11:22:42:12 this date forward.
11:22:43:09 Of course, the cost of living, which I already said but
11:22:46:07 I'll say again, would be retroactive to 9/30/07 and
11:22:51:18 March 30th of '08 with the 2%.
11:22:54:28 Members of Council, I'm going to leave you with this.
11:23:10:01 You do need to take into account many of the factors
11:23:12:09 that Mr. Gonzalez talked about.
11:23:13:27 And one of the ones I heard the city mention over and
11:23:16:27 over is the interest and welfare of the public.
11:23:20:21 And you're told that's the reason that the city's plan
11:23:23:21 needs to be implemented.
11:23:25:12 The plan that they've never said -- our plan they've
11:23:31:04 never said it's unworkable, we can't afford it.
11:23:34:28 We have shown you today that your firefighters are not
11:23:39:00 anywhere near being paid what other firefighters in
11:23:42:27 this local operating area are being paid.
11:23:46:15 When you consider the interest and welfare of the
11:23:49:13 public, I think it's paramount to consider the wages
11:23:53:03 that you're paying the people that serve those
11:23:56:21 interests and that welfare.
11:23:59:03 And I don't think under any construction the plan
11:24:02:19 proposed to you by the city does that.
11:24:05:21 Thank you.
11:24:13:15 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
11:24:14:10 Thank you, both.
11:24:15:03 At this time, we'll entertain questions from the
11:24:16:28 Council before we go to the public.
11:24:18:10 So Council may have some questions they want to raise
11:24:20:21 at this point for either side.
11:24:22:01 Council member Mulhern and then Saul-Sena.
11:24:32:03 >>MARY MULHERN: I had some questions I think for Bonnie
11:24:34:24 With regard to the question of the revenue.
11:24:38:27 The letter from the Mayor, and this was mentioned a
11:24:46:06 couple of times, talking about the $28 million property
11:24:50:16 tax revenue lost, where did that figure come from?
11:24:57:00 Because I know that our property taxes, in that chart
11:25:01:06 you showed us and last year went up 17% or something.
11:25:04:06 So I know we've had a lot of increased property tax
11:25:08:10 revenue in the small reduction because of amendment one
11:25:12:28 I don't see how that accounts for that.
11:25:15:15 I'm trying to figure out how you arrive at that number.
11:25:18:28 >> It's just the two-year period, had amendment one not
11:25:24:18 occurred and had we not been required in 2000, the
11:25:27:09 prior year to roll back our millage rate, we would have
11:25:30:19 $28 million more in property taxes right now as we
11:25:34:10 began this budget.
11:25:35:06 >>MARY MULHERN: So that's based on the assumption that
11:25:39:10 the property tax would have continued to rise at the
11:25:42:18 level it was?
11:25:43:07 >> The millage rate would have remained the same.
11:25:46:00 I did not propose a higher millage rate.
11:25:47:25 It would have remained at the same millage rate we had
11:25:50:28 in 2007.
11:25:51:24 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay.
11:25:52:24 Could you tell me the numbers, the actual total
11:25:56:27 numbers, if you compare -- so you're comparing 2007 and
11:26:04:22 >> And then into 2009.
11:26:06:10 Because, remember, we had two years of legislative
11:26:09:12 So the bigger one was actually last year.
11:26:13:15 Amendment one had an impact and it reduced our assessed
11:26:20:12 >>MARY MULHERN: That is a projection because you are
11:26:22:04 basing it on that high property tax level.
11:26:26:00 >> It's not a projection because it's based on property
11:26:28:16 tax values as of January 1 that we actually get from
11:26:31:04 the property appraiser.
11:26:32:21 It's the other millage rate.
11:26:36:21 The reason that's so important, as I mentioned before,
11:26:38:24 is because property taxes historically had increased
11:26:43:09 significantly each year.
11:26:44:13 And just to move the city from one year to another, we
11:26:48:15 were relying on those increases.
11:26:51:15 If you don't have that increase and, in fact, you have
11:26:54:09 a decrease, you have to make significant adjustments
11:26:58:15 and significant cuts, which we, of course, have done.
11:27:01:09 >>MARY MULHERN: You're relying to create your budget,
11:27:05:06 but when you actually see the actual tax revenue that's
11:27:10:07 coming in, I know as of March 8th, we had a fund
11:27:16:03 balance of this year of 392 million in our revenues for
11:27:22:03 this year.
11:27:22:22 So I think that -- I think the bubble has skewed the
11:27:28:00 way we look at things.
11:27:29:24 And I really -- I can't see exactly how that -- we've
11:27:38:21 actually -- we haven't had a real reduction, I don't
11:27:46:19 If you compare it to -- I think if you went back like a
11:27:50:18 couple of years or something and looked.
11:27:53:00 But if you're having 17% increase, the year before 8%.
11:27:58:00 You went for like 10 years with these huge percentage
11:28:01:24 increases in property tax values.
11:28:03:07 So it's hard to see how the reduction -- I guess it
11:28:09:21 would be based on rolling back that millage rate.
11:28:12:12 But it doesn't seem to me in real numbers.
11:28:15:12 And then I had a question, the negotiation between the
11:28:21:19 administration and the union have been going on for a
11:28:24:27 year, is that right?
11:28:25:22 And what have we been spending?
11:28:30:12 Like, did we have to pay to have that special master
11:28:33:15 Are there tax dollars that paid for that?
11:28:37:12 >>BONNIE WISE: Actually, I'll ask Kimberly to answer
11:28:40:21 that question.
11:28:52:06 >> Kimberly Crum.
11:28:53:09 We don't have an exact number with us on the payment.
11:28:55:25 Yes, there is a cost for the special master.
11:28:57:12 And it's borne half by the union and half by the city.
11:29:01:12 >>MARY MULHERN: For Mr. Gonzalez, he's an attorney that
11:29:03:27 we retained for labor relations.
11:29:09:00 >> Yes.
11:29:10:12 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay.
11:29:11:03 Can we find out how much we've been paying for that?
11:29:15:04 I guess that's it.
11:29:23:15 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilwoman Saul-Sena.
11:29:25:16 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you.
11:29:26:09 Ms. Wise, I have a question for you.
11:29:28:01 Are you sure that's a trajectory if what's before us
11:29:32:21 were projected ahead five years, what the gap would be
11:29:35:13 or how much more expensive it would be, did that take
11:29:39:16 into account the number of firefighters who were
11:29:41:22 already at the top of their pay grade?
11:29:43:25 >>BONNIE WISE: It did.
11:29:44:25 It assumed that only part of the firefighters would
11:29:48:10 receive that merit increase, yes.
11:29:51:09 On both sides.
11:29:55:16 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: So real numbers of firefighters
11:29:58:13 projecting ahead the trajectory was realistic in terms
11:30:04:24 of what the difference would be.
11:30:08:21 >>BONNIE WISE: Right.
11:30:09:22 And I kept my assumptions consistent on both sides, on
11:30:12:28 the city proposal and on the union proposal.
11:30:14:27 What I did not include in there, just so you know, it
11:30:17:12 does not include the up to 36 firefighters that we
11:30:19:25 could have new under this new safer grant, so it
11:30:25:04 excludes that.
11:30:26:10 It is just the current firefighters that we have today.
11:30:29:03 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you.
11:30:35:01 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: How much is the cost of living
11:30:37:12 increase for the total city employees?
11:30:40:12 >>BONNIE WISE: Well, we are right now negotiating with
11:30:42:21 our ATU for the coming year.
11:30:45:09 So that is exactly what is going on at this time.
11:30:48:10 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: How much has it been in the past?
11:30:50:22 >>BONNIE WISE: In this contract year that we're in,
11:30:53:10 it's currently 3.5.
11:30:55:01 This is the year that we're ending.
11:30:57:25 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: Okay.
11:30:58:18 What is the increase just for the fire department in
11:31:01:12 the cost of living?
11:31:05:09 >>BONNIE WISE: Well, on their last contract year, it
11:31:07:24 was 3%.
11:31:08:21 But we've been without a contract for a year almost.
11:31:13:27 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: I have another question.
11:31:15:00 How much of the proposed increase, the step increase is
11:31:18:07 available to the fire department employees, how many
11:31:20:10 are not eligible for this step increase?
11:31:23:21 >>BONNIE WISE: I'd really like to turn that over to
11:31:26:12 human resources.
11:31:27:01 My understanding, it's about half or so that are
11:31:30:07 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: About half of the fire department is
11:31:32:04 not eligible for the step increase.
11:31:34:16 >>BONNIE WISE: Right.
11:31:35:13 Because they are already at their maximum.
11:31:37:12 About half the department is already at the maximum.
11:31:42:16 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: What is the increase for those who
11:31:44:04 are not eligible for the step increase?
11:31:46:25 >>BONNIE WISE: As Kimberly mentioned, all fire
11:31:49:13 personnel would get the cost of living adjustment, so
11:31:52:21 that would be the 3%.
11:31:54:00 So whether somebody is at their max or not at their
11:31:59:06 max, everybody, all firefighters would get the 3% under
11:32:01:21 our proposal.
11:32:02:09 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: The administration increase is the
11:32:04:25 same as everyone else, 3.5%?
11:32:08:27 >>BONNIE WISE: 3%.
11:32:09:19 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: 3%.
11:32:11:03 Everyone on the administration.
11:32:19:21 Ms. Crum, I was a little surprised when you were in my
11:32:23:12 office, I asked how much does a Hillsborough County
11:32:26:10 fireman make.
11:32:27:21 I'm a busy man.
11:32:29:19 I didn't have time to look it up.
11:32:31:15 But I learned it today when I got this information.
11:32:33:12 I'm surprised you didn't have that answer for me.
11:32:36:03 >> I'm sorry that you were disappointed.
11:32:40:27 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: Because I should think that they
11:32:43:18 should be comparable.
11:32:44:13 We do the county's fire work up at station 21.
11:32:50:24 They don't have a fire department up there.
11:32:52:19 And I think we're being abused by the county.
11:32:55:04 And I have talked to the Fire Chief about that -- I
11:33:01:24 know recently one of the trucks went out for seven
11:33:04:19 So we were denied that coverage in station 21.
11:33:11:13 >> Sorry to hear that.
11:33:13:06 Certainly, the county has multiple pay grades for its
11:33:16:25 And we recognize that some of the county firefighters
11:33:19:01 are paid -- and we recognize that.
11:33:23:18 And that's a part of the issue that's before you today.
11:33:25:28 As Tom mentioned earlier, Mr. Gonzalez mentioned
11:33:30:18 earlier, it is difficult to compare firefighter wages
11:33:33:12 because of some of the additional pays they have within
11:33:35:22 their package.
11:33:36:18 And because our pensions and other benefits are so
11:33:40:00 different, one from the other.
11:33:42:28 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: Thank you.
11:33:44:15 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilman Dingfelder.
11:33:46:21 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
11:33:48:01 I have several questions of several different people.
11:33:51:24 Let's start with Mr. Fletcher, our City Attorney.
11:33:54:09 There seems to be some legal gamesmanship going on here
11:33:59:09 about this motion of ability to pay.
11:34:02:04 And I don't really understand it.
11:34:04:03 Have you looked into this and do you understand why
11:34:08:01 they are playing these games on this ability to pay?
11:34:12:00 Because on the one hand, and I've seen the transcript
11:34:14:27 from Sarah Lang, who I have known and respect for many
11:34:19:21 years, and she says under oath to the hearing officer,
11:34:22:13 we're not saying we don't have the ability to pay more.
11:34:24:24 I think we heard it two or three times from staff
11:34:28:18 And yet Bonnie Wise stands up a and insinuates that we
11:34:32:27 don't have the ability to pay.
11:34:34:12 So I can't help but conclude that there must be some
11:34:37:15 little legal nuance here.
11:34:39:27 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: Well, I would suggest if you really
11:34:43:01 want to get into that issue, we have Council for both
11:34:46:07 sides kind of explain to you what their perspective is
11:34:49:04 on that particular issue.
11:34:50:12 What you all are here to do today is decide what's in
11:34:54:15 the public interest.
11:34:55:06 I think what you heard from Mr. Gonzalez was a legal
11:34:59:09 analysis of how that legal issue determines on this
11:35:06:07 And I think he indicated that it wasn't a legal ability
11:35:11:06 to pay issue.
11:35:12:04 But he can speak for himself.
11:35:13:15 And I think on the other side, you heard a slightly
11:35:15:27 different analysis of that issue.
11:35:18:15 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: But what I'm asking you is, just for
11:35:21:00 argument sake, what does that mean?
11:35:23:03 What if the city said we don't have the ability to pay
11:35:28:07 Is there some case law or something that then changes
11:35:32:07 the dynamics or something?
11:35:35:07 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: I think if we were before the
11:35:36:25 special master, there would be some legal argument on
11:35:39:00 that issue.
11:35:39:18 I think you-all have the purpose today of making that
11:35:45:28 If you'd like, I'll defer to let each of the Council
11:35:49:21 speak to that issue.
11:35:50:18 But if you're looking for a bright line test, I don't
11:35:54:09 think I can give that to you.
11:35:55:16 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: I don't know that I want to take up
11:35:56:28 a huge amount of time on that issue.
11:35:58:18 It just seems very weird from -- the administration
11:36:03:03 seems to be talking out both sides of their mouth on
11:36:05:24 that issue.
11:36:06:13 Whenever that happens, I think there must be some
11:36:08:19 hidden legal purpose for doing that.
11:36:10:15 Chip, Mr. Fletcher, the other question, Mr. Gonzalez
11:36:18:06 said the last two times this process has come to
11:36:23:24 Council, Council has affirmed the hearing officer's
11:36:26:25 recommendations, he recommends that we do that again,
11:36:29:18 obviously, because they got a favorable ruling from the
11:36:32:15 hearing officer.
11:36:33:18 And I know and respect Mr. Gonzalez for many years as I
11:36:37:21 do other folks on the other side.
11:36:39:10 But anyway, are we under any obligation to accept the
11:36:42:21 hearing officer's recommendation or any part thereof?
11:36:45:28 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: No, no, sir.
11:36:47:12 You're focused on the impasse issue here.
11:36:51:09 You're limited on your ability to decide just those
11:36:55:10 You are not bound by that hearing officer decision.
11:36:57:06 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Thank you, Mr. Fletcher.
11:36:58:28 Couple of other questions, Mr. Chairman.
11:37:00:13 Thank you for your indulgence.
11:37:01:28 Somebody from the administration, you can take your
11:37:03:28 pick, Ms. Wise or Mr. Smith, I'd like to know what the
11:37:11:07 police union came in and negotiated, I believe, just
11:37:17:01 prior to this fire negotiation, and I would like to
11:37:21:09 know, just in a nutshell, what it was that they
11:37:25:16 ultimately received.
11:37:26:13 Not why, not the circumstances, just what they
11:37:34:09 >> Their across the board increase was five for the
11:37:36:04 first year, 4.5 for the second and 4.5 for the third.
11:37:40:19 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Cost of living.
11:37:44:06 >> That was their cost of living increase, yes, for
11:37:46:13 each of the three years of the contract.
11:37:47:24 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Did they have a step issue, or did
11:37:50:28 we do anything with their steps?
11:37:54:00 >> No, sir.
11:37:54:15 I don't believe we did any adjustments to their step.
11:37:56:18 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: So they had an existing step plan.
11:37:58:21 >> Yes, they did.
11:37:59:15 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: It's still in tact?
11:38:01:16 >> It is.
11:38:01:27 It does not perform the way the firefighters performs.
11:38:05:06 It's a relatively smooth step pay plan, with the
11:38:07:27 exception of their one master patrol increase at the
11:38:10:10 end which is similar to what you saw in the
11:38:12:13 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Okay.
11:38:13:06 What year does that 5%, 4%, 4% go through?
11:38:18:07 >> We are in the second year right now, so we're at
11:38:21:15 Next year we'll be at 4.5% and then we'll be
11:38:24:06 renegotiating under these new property tax -- after
11:38:28:18 property tax reform.
11:38:29:06 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Thank you.
11:38:29:28 I just have one or two more, Mr. Miranda.
11:38:34:15 Mr. Gonzalez, there was another proceeding that was
11:38:49:24 going on contemporaneously with this one, which was the
11:38:57:03 proceeding with regard to the city not paying the step
11:39:00:18 increases while these negotiations were going on.
11:39:02:24 You all litigated that and the city lost.
11:39:05:12 And so now I believe if I've read the ruling correctly,
11:39:11:13 the city has an obligation, and I assume we've been
11:39:14:13 meeting that obligation to pay the step increases while
11:39:16:24 these negotiations are going on pursuant to the
11:39:20:09 existing contract.
11:39:20:27 Is that correct?
11:39:22:07 >> That's correct.
11:39:22:15 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Here we are in the 11th, almost
11:39:24:22 the 11th month of this contract that we're arguing
11:39:29:15 Why is the step issue even on the table?
11:39:31:21 In other words, you know -- in other words, to me, it
11:39:36:13 just makes a heck of a lot of sense because you're
11:39:40:12 about to go into the next year of negotiation,
11:39:42:22 hopefully you'll negotiate maybe multiyear so we won't
11:39:45:27 have to be back every year, but you're in the 11th
11:39:50:06 You've got to pay 11 months of that step thing so why
11:39:55:00 are you even bringing that issue to us?
11:39:57:28 >> Well, first of all, if I could, Mr. Dingfelder, I
11:40:00:06 would point out that I guarantee you that unions tend
11:40:03:13 not to sign multiyear contracts if they do better in
11:40:06:01 front of Councils than they do at the table.
11:40:08:00 And with respect to why we're still doing this, I would
11:40:10:15 remind Council that the administration, just as it has
11:40:13:13 with the across the board, offered to negotiate
11:40:16:03 retroactively with respect to the step plan so it could
11:40:19:27 all be done at one time and the union denied that
11:40:22:24 The failure to appeal which is where I always thought
11:40:26:28 the decision had to be decided to the appellate court
11:40:30:18 was the administration's.
11:40:31:18 I would have recommended and did recommend an appeal.
11:40:33:25 But with respect to the answer to the question as to
11:40:37:01 why it's important, under PERC law in Florida, you
11:40:40:09 establish the status quo by what you do here today.
11:40:43:04 So there have been any number of situations all through
11:40:46:06 Florida where you have cities and counties and school
11:40:50:18 boards and special districts that are two and three
11:40:52:18 years behind in term of resolving these.
11:40:57:15 You have to do them I would say academic.
11:40:59:27 You but it's more than academic because it establishes
11:41:02:12 the peg from which you'll be negotiating forward.
11:41:04:12 So it's very, very essential that you all make a
11:41:06:18 That's why the law says it's only prospectively because
11:41:09:24 we'll go right back into negotiations again.
11:41:11:19 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: I guess I would like somebody
11:41:14:06 perhaps to persuade me, because I have not heard
11:41:18:10 persuasive argument from the city with respect to the
11:41:21:25 step issue, which I think is an important issue to
11:41:24:06 everybody in this room out there.
11:41:25:13 As to why shouldn't leave the status quo alone.
11:41:29:06 What the court decided, you have to pay it anyway.
11:41:31:28 >> No, sir.
11:41:32:24 What the court decided was while you're negotiating
11:41:35:10 it -- the court didn't decide anything.
11:41:37:13 Never went to court.
11:41:38:09 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Well, PERC decided it.
11:41:40:22 >> PERC did, they said it was the status quo, and I
11:41:45:04 would just point out, Mr. Dingfelder, respectively,
11:41:48:06 that under that definition, you'll never get it changed
11:41:50:21 because at some point you have to be able to negotiate
11:41:53:03 And when you have this status quo, as long as the union
11:41:55:24 doesn't come to agreement, doesn't clear impasse, they
11:41:58:22 maintain that step plan, which I think is both parties
11:42:02:25 admitted needed some fixing in terms of -- I don't
11:42:05:00 think there's ever a question that both the union and
11:42:07:00 the city agreed that there had to be things fixed on
11:42:11:03 But without the agreement, you'll never get any kind of
11:42:14:12 fix and it will keep on going the way it is.
11:42:17:28 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Okay.
11:42:19:00 Policy perspective, and maybe you don't want to answer
11:42:21:18 policy perspective, they --
11:42:24:07 >> They don't let me.
11:42:25:07 With good cause.
11:42:26:10 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: from the policy perspective -- and
11:42:32:27 this is not really a question, Mr. Smith.
11:42:35:00 From a policy perspective, this administration came
11:42:39:12 into and accepted this step plan for four or five years
11:42:47:15 without touching it.
11:42:48:15 And I haven't seen any good reason or rationale,
11:42:54:04 especially if nobody is willing to stand up to the
11:42:56:12 plate and say we don't have the ability to pay, but I
11:42:59:21 don't know why you wouldn't leave the step plan alone
11:43:03:03 or modify it slightly.
11:43:05:15 It's not a question, Mr. Smith.
11:43:07:03 I haven't heard any convincing evidence whatsoever of
11:43:15:09 why it needs to be changed that drastically.
11:43:18:07 Because that's a drastic change.
11:43:20:00 Okay, I believe that every single piece of testimony
11:43:22:16 I've seen here indicates that half the folks in the
11:43:25:09 fire department would basically be hurt significantly
11:43:28:15 by the changes being proposed by the city.
11:43:31:13 And that just doesn't seem fair or equitable to me,
11:43:34:18 because you bring people in and you say, okay, this is
11:43:39:19 your plan.
11:43:40:09 This is your life plan.
11:43:42:03 This is what your family can count on for the next 12
11:43:44:28 to 30 years.
11:43:46:09 And then you yank that out from under him.
11:43:50:15 That seems like classic bait and switch.
11:43:53:00 To me, if you're going to change something, you work
11:43:55:10 together with the union and you change it gradually
11:43:57:18 over a period of years.
11:43:58:24 You don't just yank the program out from under these
11:44:01:15 families' feet and change it outright.
11:44:03:25 That's not a question.
11:44:05:03 I apologize.
11:44:11:06 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
11:44:15:04 I need to speak to both sides at the same time.
11:44:15:04 Because there are so many figures that were brought out
11:44:16:06 by both sides, and we got to make a decision in three
11:44:19:28 There's some in the enterprise fund.
11:44:21:27 There's some in the community investment tax and then
11:44:24:06 there's the tax operating fund where the salaries come
11:44:28:28 One side says, well, 156 million under capital budget
11:44:32:21 items in '07 and 150 million in '08.
11:44:36:12 Then the other side says, well, you've got aside from
11:44:40:09 the expenditures that they propose of 3.5 and 3, an
11:44:42:27 additional 2.8 million.
11:44:46:00 I'd like to have both of them come up here and just --
11:44:48:12 you know, these questions here to us I think mean a
11:44:52:15 lot, and I got to have some consensus on these figures
11:44:55:24 because figures are figures, but it's the way you apply
11:44:59:13 them whether they add up or not.
11:45:01:13 What I'm saying, I just need some consensus here on
11:45:05:00 the -- on those facts.
11:45:08:10 And that's what the question is.
11:45:09:18 In other words, is 156 million, sir, I think you're the
11:45:14:00 one who brought it up, regarding that, those funds that
11:45:17:25 are sitting in a pot for distribution for salaries that
11:45:21:03 are not used aside from the CIT, aside from the
11:45:25:00 enterprise fund, or are they sitting in the tax
11:45:29:03 operating fund for expenditures that have not been used
11:45:32:01 and they've been in the holding pattern for time?
11:45:36:09 >> I may have our economic -- I may have our economic
11:45:41:18 consultant speak to that specific issue for you.
11:45:43:22 I believe those are unrestricted funds, and he can
11:45:47:21 explain what he interprets that to mean based on his
11:45:51:00 That's Mr. Larry JESSUP, who is behind me, and he can
11:45:55:00 address it briefly and hopefully address your question.
11:45:56:27 I also need to point out, though, with regard to what
11:45:59:12 we're proposing, if you look at the compromise that we
11:46:01:18 proposed here today with the $30 biweekly and
11:46:06:06 $110 biweekly going forward from the date of your
11:46:09:09 resolution, really the difference between us and the
11:46:11:15 city at this point is $500,000, somewhere in the
11:46:14:18 $500,000 range as opposed to the orange difference
11:46:17:21 which was much greater.
11:46:18:27 And I'll let Mr. JESSUP answer your other question.
11:46:22:12 Then if you have any other questions for me.
11:46:24:04 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: This thing I have read three times,
11:46:27:01 as late as 1:00 this morning, 4:00 this morning.
11:46:29:21 It's very difficult reading because you go from
11:46:31:27 $30 biweekly to $45 biweekly to $125 biweekly.
11:46:37:19 You have something at the airport.
11:46:38:19 You have something at the port.
11:46:39:22 And it's hard following because you need a graph of
11:46:43:25 every little detail and every page.
11:46:46:12 And nothing to do with the firefighters.
11:46:48:00 It's the way it's presented on both sides that for us,
11:46:51:09 I would imagine if it's for me, it's for everyone on
11:46:53:24 this side, but I'm not speaking for the other six.
11:46:56:06 It's hard reading, and it's difficult reading because
11:46:59:15 there's no chart and every side of the page explains
11:47:02:09 what it is.
11:47:02:27 It's just there.
11:47:04:00 >> Well, if I could have a moment, I might be able to
11:47:06:21 clarify that.
11:47:07:16 Let me let Mr. JESSUP answer your other questions.
11:47:13:21 >> Council members, can you hear me?
11:47:15:12 Thank you for allowing me to speak.
11:47:18:10 My name is Lawrence JESSUP, economic consultant for the
11:47:21:18 Firefighters Union, have been since the late '70s
11:47:24:09 here in Tampa through a number of administrations and
11:47:27:06 union presidents.
11:47:28:00 To answer your question, I think the exhibits that
11:47:33:00 you're referring to are at the end.
11:47:35:21 There's one that says 2007 CAFR update.
11:47:45:12 And those six funds are interrelated by virtue of
11:47:48:16 transfers that are made among.
11:47:51:27 And where you see the combined unreserved -- I'm sorry,
11:47:56:09 150 -- $157 million, that was available at the
11:48:02:21 beginning of this fiscal year.
11:48:04:09 Essentially it was in the bank, unreserved.
11:48:07:01 Could have been appropriated apart from the
11:48:10:04 designations that are listed on that exhibit.
11:48:13:00 The question is, what's it going to be at the end of
11:48:19:09 this fiscal year?
11:48:21:21 Because those are the monies that you're going to be
11:48:23:19 able to spend today if you wanted to.
11:48:26:24 All of them apart from the general fund, where it shows
11:48:33:15 the use of a fund balance, which is a surplus or a
11:48:37:04 deficit, if it's a deficit, you're taking from the fund
11:48:40:15 If it's a surplus, you're adding to it.
11:48:43:10 Those five funds, utility tax, cable, come from the
11:48:47:15 city's projected revenues and expenditures that you can
11:48:50:18 find in the supplemental budget.
11:48:52:10 Your familiar with that.
11:48:54:15 It has all the details.
11:48:55:24 The general fund, however, is using that same
11:49:01:09 information, however, I modified it to this extent
11:49:05:27 where the actual revenues that came in as of 8/13, last
11:49:10:24 week when I received the information, exceeded the
11:49:14:24 amount that the city's budget department projected, I
11:49:20:15 used that number.
11:49:21:15 Where expenditures exceeded the city's projected
11:49:26:24 number, I used that higher number.
11:49:28:27 Except for a couple of spots.
11:49:32:12 And one of them is in the last exhibit where you see
11:49:39:01 the highlighted line for pay adjustments of budgeted
11:49:43:15 $3.6 million.
11:49:46:09 That was to cover pay adjustments for supervisors,
11:49:48:27 managers, and fire department's contract.
11:49:51:09 The city is projecting that it's going to be spent.
11:49:55:06 Well, they haven't spent it.
11:49:59:06 The money for the supervisors and the managers is
11:50:00:24 already incorporated in those departments' budgets.
11:50:04:27 Essentially, when you're looking at this line item,
11:50:06:22 that $3.6 million is available for the firefighters'
11:50:10:03 But you also have in that nondepartmental department
11:50:18:12 some other line items.
11:50:20:03 That are not contained.
11:50:22:15 You have a contingency line item for $1.8 million.
11:50:25:04 The city is projecting that they are not going to use
11:50:27:21 If you have $1.5 million for transfers to the general
11:50:32:21 fund balance at the end of the year, well, you're not
11:50:35:15 going to do that either.
11:50:36:10 As of August 13th, ad valorem tax collections are a
11:50:44:13 million and a half dollars more than what the city's
11:50:47:19 There's a number of others.
11:50:51:21 One of them, excuse me, is a $6 million contribution
11:50:57:13 for the state for the police and fire pension.
11:50:59:13 But that's just coming in the door and going right back
11:51:02:01 out to the pension system.
11:51:03:09 But they are not projecting that they are going to
11:51:05:10 receive it but they have.
11:51:11:15 There's an additional $274,000 that's received more
11:51:13:28 than the city's projection for what the city receives
11:51:17:12 as administration fees for extra duty officers for the
11:51:21:28 Tampa Police Department.
11:51:23:01 So if you look at the details comparing the city's
11:51:27:25 projection to what's actually coming in, this is not
11:51:31:12 Because what actually happens at the end of the year in
11:51:36:06 terms of surpluses far exceeds what the city projects.
11:51:40:06 And that's happened for the past three years at least.
11:51:43:09 So to answer your question, is the money available,
11:51:46:22 should you make a decision?
11:51:53:12 >> Bonnie?
11:52:01:09 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: It's the same question.
11:52:05:09 Mr. Jessup is talking about page one of one.
11:52:09:07 This is hard to follow because the pages are not
11:52:11:25 But I guess the last one is 101, and there's where the
11:52:17:01 adjustments are on pay adjustments, third column.
11:52:24:16 There's where I'm at right now with those numbers.
11:52:30:24 >>BONNIE WISE: Mr. Jessup just so you know, I just
11:52:35:06 received these documents for the first time, so I'm
11:52:37:09 trying to make heads or tails out of whatever
11:52:40:00 adjustments Mr. Jessup made to our books.
11:52:42:06 And he has not accurately reflected those things that
11:52:45:00 are occurring within our city because he wouldn't
11:52:48:00 necessarily know what is occurring.
11:52:49:13 He doesn't know that our sales tax is coming in less
11:52:51:21 than expected.
11:52:52:10 He doesn't know that our franchise fees are flat.
11:52:54:18 He doesn't know that the state has revised their
11:52:57:13 estimates for the fiscal year that we're in.
11:52:59:09 He doesn't know that we're paying more in fuel.
11:53:01:09 He doesn't know that we're paying more in electric.
11:53:04:00 So he really doesn't know how our balances will be
11:53:06:00 affected at the year end.
11:53:07:04 I'm not sure he knows that certain of these fund
11:53:10:01 balances are restricted in their use.
11:53:11:24 And he's just grouping them together.
11:53:13:24 The nondepartment number includes pay for the
11:53:19:25 firefighters as well as other pay, so it's not just for
11:53:23:07 firefighters, and it hasn't been used, but that is
11:53:26:24 where we budget for that.
11:53:28:12 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: What I'm hearing is that -- what
11:53:32:24 Mr. Jessup just said, you're telling us that those fund
11:53:36:24 balances would be close to zero at the end of the year
11:53:39:25 or at the end of our calendar year or end of our fiscal
11:53:44:03 >>BONNIE WISE: Oh, no.
11:53:45:21 I have made -- I will tell you since I have been at the
11:53:47:24 city since my first year when the Mayor and I sat down
11:53:50:09 with our external auditors and they told us that our
11:53:52:28 fund balances were not at adequate levels, there has
11:53:55:12 been a conscious effort on our part to increase our
11:53:59:21 fund balances.
11:54:01:00 I will tell you that it is exactly what we are trying
11:54:03:21 to do over time, prudently increase our fund balance.
11:54:07:09 What we also did in fiscal year 2008 when you remember
11:54:10:22 when I went through the budget presentation and talked
11:54:12:21 about how we funded our gap, the things that we did, we
11:54:16:06 didn't buy certain vehicles.
11:54:18:00 We held positions open.
11:54:20:03 All those things we did intentionally during 2008 were
11:54:27:00 to increase fund balance, help us balance the budget
11:54:29:12 for 2009.
11:54:30:12 So, yes, we expect there to be those balances.
11:54:34:04 Those balances are absolutely essentially to our
11:54:38:10 financial health.
11:54:42:21 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: The other question not answered and
11:54:44:27 I'll give the gentleman a chance, I hope the Chairman
11:54:47:09 allows me, you talked about the three and
11:54:50:03 three-and-a-half percent or maybe backwards,
11:54:52:03 three-and-a-half and three percent, and that additional
11:54:55:10 cost that was added on through these agreements that
11:54:58:12 are very hard to understand in the plan that total
11:55:03:22 $2.8 million more, and I didn't ask that gentleman to
11:55:08:00 verify this, and I will.
11:55:09:12 And then on your four items that you mentioned, fuel,
11:55:14:21 chemicals, so forth and so on equals 13.5 million.
11:55:19:27 I just did the quick math.
11:55:21:12 I'm not going to tell you I'm right, but that's what I
11:55:24:06 think I wrote down.
11:55:25:10 So, again, we have differences on both sides, on a
11:55:30:24 question that's mathematically, and here again it's
11:55:34:22 just hard to understand what kind of information we're
11:55:39:00 Is it true that it is costing in addition to the 3.5
11:55:47:00 and 3 percent, additional $2.8 million that's built in
11:55:50:21 the contract?
11:55:51:21 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes, sir.
11:55:52:06 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: All right.
11:55:53:03 I'll ask the other side.
11:55:54:06 That's all.
11:55:54:18 >>BONNIE WISE: I just wanted to clarify.
11:55:57:01 I used the information that I had most available.
11:55:59:00 This new proposal that's being presented today is not
11:56:01:18 in my graph that I showed you.
11:56:04:09 I was not aware of that proposal.
11:56:05:24 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I understand that.
11:56:07:06 Mr. Jessup.
11:56:17:00 >> Councilman Miranda --
11:56:18:07 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: You are not the economist.
11:56:20:03 >> No, I'm not.
11:56:21:03 Do you want to hear from him?
11:56:22:15 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Yes.
11:56:27:04 I'm sorry, but he's the one who stood up on the
11:56:29:15 economic, and I want the chain to continue in that
11:56:32:21 He's certainly smarter than I am, not that I'm saying
11:56:35:21 he's smarter than you, sir.
11:56:36:27 [ LAUGHTER ]
11:56:36:28 Let me qualify that.
11:56:38:21 >> I don't think there's a lawyer who thinks anybody is
11:56:44:01 smarter --
11:56:44:21 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have to agree with you.
11:56:46:01 And they get paid more than you and me.
11:56:50:09 >> That's a fact.
11:56:51:12 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: The city made a presentation on 3.5
11:56:54:07 and 3, and then they added -- and I guess they got that
11:56:57:15 from those items that I said are very hard for us to
11:57:00:09 follow because you don't have a composite -- not you,
11:57:02:24 the whole system doesn't have that in every page.
11:57:07:00 What I'm saying, is it a fact that there's something
11:57:09:18 other than the 3.5 and 3 percent in the logic of the
11:57:15:01 book that was presented, totaling something over two
11:57:18:00 million, let me say that.
11:57:19:06 I'm not going to say 2.8, just 2 million that breaks
11:57:22:24 down into four different categories.
11:57:25:21 >> Sir, I saw the exhibit on the screen, and I think
11:57:29:01 you're referring to the city's exhibit with respect to
11:57:31:09 the cost.
11:57:32:12 The city's interpretation and costing of the union's
11:57:36:00 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: That's the only thing I have to go
11:57:38:06 on because I didn't do the math.
11:57:41:24 >> The fast answer is for today's purposes, the union
11:57:49:03 is presenting a package to resolve the impasse.
11:57:51:15 It's our proposal.
11:57:52:10 And that proposal has changed and is different from
11:57:56:09 what the city has costed out.
11:57:58:15 So there is going to be a substantial difference
11:58:00:18 between the two.
11:58:01:10 The three percent retro for October is the same.
11:58:04:25 What's different is the 2% retro to March 30th.
11:58:08:21 And the union has changed its EMT paramedic pay
11:58:12:22 proposal that's starting on 17, it will be $30 biweekly
11:58:18:04 for EMT certification pay and $110 biweekly for
11:58:23:21 That will be paid out if you choose to adopt that for
11:58:27:21 the next four pay periods till the end of the year.
11:58:31:03 The airport -- as I understand it, has been eliminated
11:58:38:00 from the city's proposal --
11:58:40:06 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: That was the one that had the
11:58:41:16 airport and the port, that you get a certain sum from
11:58:44:09 having qualifications to work there, hazardous work.
11:58:54:00 >> In the union's package on the second page, if you
11:58:56:25 would turn to that.
11:59:04:10 And this was explained by Mr. McCabe, the top shows
11:59:09:06 that the total cost out of pocket fiscal year with the
11:59:11:27 city's proposal, as we understand it, underneath that
11:59:15:00 is now the union's proposal to resolve this impasse.
11:59:18:27 And that's the cost, the impact for the current fiscal
11:59:23:18 year including pension in the Medicare portion that's
11:59:30:09 paid on these dollars of approximately $520,000 fiscal
11:59:34:01 year impact for the union's proposal.
11:59:39:18 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me ask this.
11:59:40:27 I'm trying to gather all the information I can.
11:59:42:24 I know my colleagues are also in the same boat I'm in.
11:59:46:13 Has this been discussed with the city, or has this been
11:59:51:12 something that was done after the -- what's the
11:59:54:21 gentleman's name -- TARO, I believe it is, Thomas TARO,
11:59:59:15 the special magistrate, has this been discussed with
12:00:02:16 the city before, or is this after the special
12:00:07:18 magistrate's decision?
12:00:09:00 >> The change in the city's -- I'm sorry.
12:00:11:16 The change in the union's proposal, as you see it here
12:00:14:13 today with respect to the 3% retro to October and the
12:00:19:01 2% retro to March has been discussed with the city.
12:00:23:27 The change in the amount that's requested for the
12:00:26:12 paramedic pay and for the EMT pay has been presented
12:00:31:15 here today.
12:00:33:28 And I believe the union had not had an opportunity to
12:00:36:24 discuss that reduction prior to today's hearing,
12:00:40:24 although I may stand corrected on that, but the -- has
12:00:48:15 been addressed before with the city administration.
12:00:50:18 And I'll let, if I may --
12:00:53:21 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman, if I may ask, for you
12:00:56:27 to get a consensus, I don't think -- I'm not privy to
12:01:00:06 those numbers coming out other than today.
12:01:03:09 And I don't know if any of you are, but I'm not.
12:01:05:24 And I would like to know what that package totals to.
12:01:08:15 There was a package that was given in this and they
12:01:11:00 just submitted.
12:01:11:22 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, that was going to be my line of
12:01:15:09 >> May I speak to that real quick?
12:01:17:19 Larry Parker.
12:01:18:25 We're not doubting that our original proposal was two
12:01:24:09 point something million dollars over what the city
12:01:26:15 You can see that in the diagram on our first page.
12:01:28:27 That was our original proposal.
12:01:29:27 Our compromise, the 3% retro back to October 1, the 2%
12:01:34:00 retro to April was discussed in negotiations with the
12:01:37:06 city after the special magistrate with no response from
12:01:39:27 the city to that plan.
12:01:41:00 We adjusted the EMT down because we knew they weren't
12:01:44:06 going to accept our pay plan, we know they wouldn't
12:01:47:18 accept the EMT, so there was no sense in discussing.
12:01:50:09 We're not doubting it was two point something.
12:01:53:00 Because of the change in our plan, it's down to
12:01:56:15 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Let me just follow up.
12:01:58:07 And then I'll recognize Councilwoman Miller, so we can
12:02:06:19 have clarity and cut to the chase.
12:02:08:18 What I was given and -- first off, let me thank all of
12:02:14:16 you all.
12:02:15:15 Thank the city administration and the union for your
12:02:18:18 work and all that.
12:02:23:15 And appreciate all that you do.
12:02:25:00 Today, this Council acts as an appellate board.
12:02:30:12 So we can overturn whatever the special magistrate said
12:02:34:15 or whatever his opinion.
12:02:37:06 Today it's in City Council's hands.
12:02:39:00 Now, the city began at 3% and 3.5.
12:02:44:22 They have maintained that position, is that right?
12:02:47:12 Where did you all begin at?
12:02:48:22 Has there been a change in your position since you
12:02:55:01 >> I believe our original position on the cost of
12:02:57:22 living increase was 2%.
12:02:59:12 And we increased it to a cola using a cost of living
12:03:04:21 adjustment based on the consumer price index.
12:03:07:22 For a long time, our position was 2.3.
12:03:10:18 As negotiations moved on and we recognized that we were
12:03:15:09 having great difficulty with the financial picture, we
12:03:17:12 increased it to 3%, and we remained at 3% for quite
12:03:20:12 some time.
12:03:20:24 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
12:03:22:18 And the union has significantly based on what I see
12:03:25:18 here, has moved their position, is that pretty
12:03:28:06 Now, based on what we have on the second proposal here
12:03:32:00 and based on the letter that I have, now, so then as we
12:03:37:09 look at these numbers, what you have in terms of this
12:03:39:19 letter, represent the second proposal -- is that
12:03:47:21 >> Yes, our compromise proposal was the retro 3% to
12:03:50:21 October 1 of 07.
12:03:52:21 2% retroactive to April 1 of '08 with the EMT and
12:03:57:18 paramedic pay only moving forward for the remainder of
12:04:00:06 the year.
12:04:00:24 You're not paying retro for that of $30 biweekly for
12:04:04:12 EMTs and $110 biweekly for paramedics.
12:04:08:00 We're not asking for that retro.
12:04:10:01 We're just saying from this day forward, there's only
12:04:11:24 one month left in the year, we have to negotiate a
12:04:14:12 successor agreement, so we felt it was important to
12:04:16:18 save the city money this year, drop it from two point
12:04:19:03 something million to 500,000 and move forward.
12:04:21:16 >>THOMAS SCOTT: The total the union is asking for
12:04:26:06 >> That's our projected through our economist the cost
12:04:28:09 as best we can estimate the cost, you know, and
12:04:31:03 calculate the cost from there.
12:04:32:12 But that's what we're asking for is the retro pay of 3
12:04:34:15 and 3% and 2% and the EMT and paramedic moving from the
12:04:38:24 17th, which is a pay day.
12:04:40:06 We were going to pick this date, but that's the closest
12:04:42:16 pay day to this date, so moving forward.
12:04:43:21 >> Let me ask the city.
12:04:53:21 You presented this to the administration?
12:04:53:03 >> We presented the retro split pay package, the 4% and
12:04:58:06 We had told the city at one point in time during that
12:05:00:12 meeting, we would remove and sign off on all of the
12:05:02:22 articles of status quo if they accepted our pay
12:05:05:18 They did not accept it.
12:05:07:00 So this was our final compromise to get the men and
12:05:10:01 women the pay they deserve for the pay package and the
12:05:13:12 specialized training.
12:05:13:27 >>THOMAS SCOTT: City administration, Mrs. Smith,
12:05:18:27 Mrs. Crum, you are still not open to accepting their
12:05:22:18 >> In fairness, Chairman Scott, we've just heard their
12:05:28:07 We heard their proposal at the same time you have.
12:05:30:21 Mr. Parker has just alluded to the fact that while we
12:05:34:19 talk about the split on a 2% retro back to April, we
12:05:38:06 have never costed the paramedic pay that's been brought
12:05:41:06 before you today.
12:05:41:25 And so I would respectfully ask that we have an
12:05:44:15 opportunity to do that before we answer the question.
12:05:52:09 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, I'm at the point now where we
12:05:54:13 really need to move forward and see how Council feel
12:05:58:10 and resolve the issue.
12:05:59:15 I mean, when I was handed a letter, I was shocked at
12:06:06:19 the change and the position and that the city was not
12:06:10:19 open to that.
12:06:12:03 I also would tell you, too, by the way, Mrs. Gonzalez,
12:06:18:27 I served 13 years with the county commission, not one
12:06:21:19 time did the union want to come before the county
12:06:24:00 Not one time.
12:06:24:24 Always saying that they get a better deal coming --
12:06:27:15 that's not always true.
12:06:28:15 They have a tendency to want to settle in that sense.
12:06:31:28 I want to make sure.
12:06:34:28 The other thing I want to point out is, when you look
12:06:37:03 at the numbers, if they are accurate, if these numbers
12:06:39:21 are accurate, I'm looking at in terms of what we
12:06:42:09 gathered, which I did call other similar municipalities
12:06:49:15 that Largo pays more when you look at this.
12:06:55:06 Orange County, which is also central Florida.
12:07:00:21 I mean, I just started looking at the Clearwater,
12:07:04:03 Pinellas, St. Pete.
12:07:10:19 I'm just in shock that these other municipalities were
12:07:16:15 making more in salary compared to what Tampa, quote,
12:07:20:12 unquote, the next great city or the great city.
12:07:24:27 So I was in shock by that.
12:07:26:18 And that we were not willing to look at that so we can
12:07:30:04 maintain the kind of firemen that we want to be here in
12:07:36:10 the City of Tampa and have a good, decent living.
12:07:39:12 Council, I will tell you, my mind is pretty much made
12:07:45:01 I'm open --
12:07:56:06 >>GWEN MILLER: He took some of my thunder.
12:08:00:24 Would you come to the mike?
12:08:02:13 We'll talk about the same letter we received this
12:08:04:09 morning from Mr. Larry Parker.
12:08:06:15 You said you have not seen it before.
12:08:08:00 >> No, ma'am.
12:08:08:18 >>GWEN MILLER: Do you have a copy of it now?
12:08:10:15 >> I do.
12:08:11:09 >>GWEN MILLER: We'll read it over together.
12:08:13:28 >> Just a moment.
12:08:19:25 >>GWEN MILLER: Where it said this proposal was
12:08:21:03 planned -- pay increase of 5% broke down into six
12:08:27:03 month, two six-month increments.
12:08:29:06 Three percent retroactive to 10/1/07.
12:08:34:03 2% retroactive, 4/1/08.
12:08:37:04 This would amount to 4% pay increase.
12:08:40:22 According to our economist, this would only cost the
12:08:42:12 city approximately $340,000.
12:08:44:13 Not 500.
12:08:47:00 You cannot accept that?
12:08:51:09 >> First of all, I think we may be talking about two
12:08:54:00 different things.
12:08:54:22 I don't know the answer to the recalculation based on
12:09:02:27 these numbers.
12:09:03:15 We just received it this morning.
12:09:07:21 And that's why I asked for the opportunity for us to
12:09:09:24 cost that.
12:09:10:13 I think that's only fair.
12:09:12:15 Before we agree or disagree.
12:09:21:13 >>GWEN MILLER: A whole year you've been negotiating and
12:09:24:07 it never came down to this before and you're saying a
12:09:26:12 whole year?
12:09:28:01 >> No, ma'am.
12:09:28:09 It never came down to just this item.
12:09:30:19 No, ma'am.
12:09:35:27 >>GWEN MILLER: I think this is reasonable to me.
12:09:36:04 They are coming down to 340,000.
12:09:38:00 That's a big drop.
12:09:40:04 >> I understand.
12:09:40:15 But this is only one element of what's before us today,
12:09:42:19 and it has to be taken in light of the rest of the
12:09:44:22 package that we're talking about.
12:09:45:22 It's difficult, especially in a public forum where we
12:09:53:12 haven't had the opportunity to cost it out, to accept
12:09:55:01 one element of the plan without the rest.
12:09:57:27 I would also point out that even if we were to separate
12:09:59:25 the two and do a three percent retroactive back to
12:10:03:09 October and a 2% retroactive back to March 30th or
12:10:07:21 April 1st, even if we were to do that, that sets
12:10:10:04 that -- those wages become the base wage for the next
12:10:14:28 Every increase that's given on top of that is actually
12:10:17:21 given on top of the 5% increase.
12:10:19:12 So I'm not willing to say we're not agreeable to it,
12:10:24:00 but I think we have to look at it prudently in the
12:10:26:24 bigger picture.
12:10:31:15 >>GWEN MILLER: It's my understanding and my colleagues'
12:10:31:15 understanding, you need to make a decision today.
12:10:34:06 We can't go back and renegotiate again.
12:10:37:00 They want to make a decision today.
12:10:38:01 I don't know how you're going to do it.
12:10:41:27 >> I don't think it takes this long to cost something.
12:10:45:22 I don't think it would take us a long time to cost us.
12:10:49:16 But I would respectfully ask that we have the
12:10:51:19 opportunity to look at that and discuss it.
12:10:59:03 >>THOMAS SCOTT: You may want to begin working on that
12:11:00:25 while Councilman Dingfelder speak and also Councilwoman
12:11:05:24 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Mr. Parker, let's get a
12:11:08:21 It's an undated letter, for the record, but it's the
12:11:13:22 one where we've been referring to three paragraphs from
12:11:16:27 you, and we all received it today.
12:11:18:12 But there's no mention in this letter here about EMT.
12:11:23:15 You say we're going to leave all of our open articles
12:11:30:06 status quo.
12:11:30:21 I assumed when I read this that that included the EMT,
12:11:34:22 you would leave status quo.
12:11:41:12 >> That was the offer that I respectfully disagree with
12:11:44:00 Ms. Crum that was given to the city a couple of
12:11:46:06 negotiation sessions back.
12:11:47:07 I was asked to put that in writing what the offer was a
12:11:49:18 couple of negotiation sessions back.
12:11:52:00 For them to say they didn't see this and the offer, it
12:11:54:06 was on the table.
12:11:58:18 We've always felt that we needed EMT and medic pay.
12:12:01:15 That is the $200,000 that's additional.
12:12:02:09 That is the offer that we offered the city that they
12:12:04:09 absolutely refused.
12:12:05:09 So that's why the EMT is back on the table, because
12:12:07:24 they refused our offer and we well adjusted our EMT and
12:12:11:27 medic down.
12:12:12:15 The men and women deserve that.
12:12:14:10 That offer was there.
12:12:15:18 They still didn't accept it.
12:12:23:03 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: I don't want to get into when these
12:12:25:09 offers were made.
12:12:28:03 You-all have been doing this for a year, and I don't
12:12:28:03 know how productive all of that is.
12:12:28:03 What I want to be sure is, if Council grabs hold of
12:12:30:24 this piece of paper and starts running with it, that we
12:12:33:09 all know what we're running with.
12:12:34:16 Because Mr. Fletcher advised us, that needs to be
12:12:37:18 abundantly clear on the record as to what we're voting
12:12:41:18 If we look at this paper, this paper says basically 3%
12:12:45:15 retro, as Ms. Miller said, 3% retro to 10/1/07, 2%
12:12:52:27 retro to 4/1/08.
12:12:55:18 Regardless of what that calculates out to, that's
12:12:58:04 where -- that's your offer here, and everything else is
12:13:01:12 status quo.
12:13:02:09 That's what I'd like to clarify that that's what I'm
12:13:04:27 reading on this paper.
12:13:07:06 >> That's what you read on the paper.
12:13:08:21 That was our offer to the city a couple of negotiation
12:13:11:09 sessions ago between the special magistrate and now to
12:13:13:27 try to resolve the impasse.
12:13:15:25 Our offer today on the table was EMT at a very reduced
12:13:20:18 EMT and medic at very reduced rate.
12:13:23:03 That was the offer we put on the table here to resolve
12:13:25:03 the impasse.
12:13:25:18 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: That would be the $30 and $110?
12:13:28:13 >> Correct.
12:13:28:21 Biweekly, but only that part would only go from
12:13:32:12 August 17th forward.
12:13:33:15 They would not get retro pay on the EMT or medic.
12:13:36:12 Only on their cost of living increase.
12:13:37:27 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Enlighten me, because I'm not up to
12:13:40:07 speed on this, how many hours of schooling or whatever
12:13:42:10 is an EMT versus a paramedic?
12:13:45:24 >> EMT is approximately a couple of semesters.
12:13:48:18 It's been many years since I went through EMT school.
12:13:51:13 But paramedic takes a full year, if not more, of just
12:13:55:18 Then you have clinicals at the hospital and ride time
12:13:59:24 that you can't ride on duty for, but you ride mainly
12:14:00:19 off duty for.
12:14:00:24 You do get some on duty, but you have to put in all
12:14:03:12 that time before you can even take the state exam.
12:14:05:15 Well over a year schooling.
12:14:08:06 And the men and women are used every day, almost every
12:14:10:21 vehicle in the City of Tampa is an ALS response unit.
12:14:14:00 So their medic skills are used every day on every call.
12:14:20:10 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: I taught school for a while, which
12:14:22:03 is another poorly paid job.
12:14:29:15 I had a master's degree and advance degree beyond that.
12:14:32:10 The school system does give you, as I recall, sort of a
12:14:35:22 flat amount for your master's degree or your Ph.D. or
12:14:38:18 what have you.
12:14:39:10 I can't remember what it was but I remember it
12:14:43:27 specifically because it was a boost to the pittance I
12:14:45:19 was being paid.
12:14:46:18 So I thought that perhaps that might be a better way of
12:14:51:18 approaching it in terms of a dollar amount, a discreet
12:14:56:06 dollar amount as compared to a percentage of the pay.
12:14:58:16 I'm glad that you guys have suggested that, because
12:15:01:01 $30 biweekly, I guess, comes out to about a thousand
12:15:05:10 dollars a year, thereabouts.
12:15:07:09 >> I think it works out to about 800 and something
12:15:09:09 dollars for an EMT and $2800 for a paramedic which is
12:15:13:07 far below the standard.
12:15:14:07 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: As I recall, that was similar to the
12:15:16:09 master's degree and Ph.D.
12:15:17:24 It was like a thousand and two thousand or something
12:15:19:27 like that for those advanced degrees.
12:15:23:04 Thank you, Larry.
12:15:26:21 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I had a question for Ms. Wise again.
12:15:28:28 Could you put up the chart again that I asked you about
12:15:31:24 previously, the trajectory of what the cost would be
12:15:34:10 over the next five years.
12:15:39:06 >> If there's anyone in the booth there.
12:15:41:12 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Maybe we should call on somebody
12:15:43:00 else while the people.
12:15:57:03 >> All righty.
12:15:57:22 There we go.
12:16:00:12 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: That was the one.
12:16:01:12 These would be the costs going forward, if we adopted
12:16:13:27 or didn't adopt the projections that are before us
12:16:17:06 today, these are the costs going forward.
12:16:19:04 And fellow Council members, of all the information that
12:16:25:03 was shared with us today, to me, this is the most
12:16:27:18 significant because what we're doing today really only
12:16:31:25 affects this particular contract.
12:16:34:18 It's only this year.
12:16:35:18 But going forward, we're looking at restrictions on our
12:16:42:00 revenue from the state, and we're looking at
12:16:45:12 escalations in expense --
12:16:49:07 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Linda, can we get a clarification on
12:16:51:12 the chart?
12:16:51:27 When I saw the chart, I questioned to myself that --
12:16:55:03 was this the original union's offer?
12:16:57:12 In terms of the red line?
12:17:00:22 Or was it today's offer?
12:17:02:03 Because I have a sense, based upon the presentation
12:17:06:10 that staff made, that a lot of the numbers were the
12:17:09:18 original offer.
12:17:10:13 Well, you know what?
12:17:12:00 Everybody goes into negotiations on the high side and
12:17:14:18 the city goes on the low side and you meet somewhere in
12:17:17:06 the middle.
12:17:17:25 Bonnie, tell us about these lines and do they represent
12:17:22:00 the offer of the union today?
12:17:23:21 >>BONNIE WISE: It does not show the offer today.
12:17:26:06 The offer today is new news to me.
12:17:28:07 I did not know this offer yesterday and the day before
12:17:31:03 when I was preparing this chart.
12:17:32:18 This chart is based on where we are at impasse.
12:17:36:15 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Which means what?
12:17:38:13 >> With the special magistrate.
12:17:39:16 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Which means what?
12:17:41:16 >>BONNIE WISE: It would be five, the five and a half,
12:17:43:15 the two and a half for EMTs, almost virtually every
12:17:46:15 firefighter is an EMT.
12:17:48:06 And it was a 7.5% for the paramedics and the airport
12:17:52:13 pay and the marine pay.
12:17:55:12 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: So we're looking at the green rather
12:17:56:27 than the red, basically.
12:17:58:22 >>BONNIE WISE: It was the higher rate.
12:18:01:00 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: The red the union has said we don't
12:18:03:13 need the red.
12:18:04:27 We're cutting the other things, so we're sort of down
12:18:07:15 to the green line.
12:18:08:15 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: The union is shaking their head no.
12:18:11:00 >>BONNIE WISE: I respectfully tell you that I have not
12:18:13:19 seen their numbers at all.
12:18:14:24 It would not take me long to review their numbers, but
12:18:17:06 I have not seen them.
12:18:18:06 What does that mean?
12:18:23:25 Just for one month?
12:18:25:12 Does that mean next year we have a full year to
12:18:28:01 I don't know what their offer is.
12:18:29:06 I don't have it.
12:18:33:12 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I was going to suggest we take a break
12:18:35:18 and maybe come back.
12:18:36:21 How is everybody's schedule?
12:18:39:12 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman, I'm free as long as
12:18:41:03 you're free, sir.
12:18:44:27 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Why don't we take an hour break for
12:18:48:07 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I believe the union representative
12:18:52:16 said the air and sea is out.
12:18:54:15 It's still in, the paramedics, EMT.
12:19:00:00 I'm going by number of dollars.
12:19:02:06 935, 413 thousand and a million three.
12:19:06:09 And I don't know what 800 and 2800 relate to.
12:19:10:10 That's what I'm asking, Larry.
12:19:12:16 >> The final proposal was removing any other increases
12:19:17:06 that we asked for at the impasse.
12:19:19:16 The final proposal that we brought to you to try to
12:19:21:27 resolve, which we're supposed to bring resolution to
12:19:23:25 you here today is the 3% retro back to 10/1/07.
12:19:31:00 The 2% retro back to -- you can say March 30th or
12:19:35:07 April 1st, six months, '08, which represents an
12:19:39:15 approximate, just off the ballpark 4% across the board
12:19:43:01 increase to the current step plan, leaving the steps in
12:19:45:21 place with a $30 biweekly for EMT and $110 biweekly for
12:19:53:00 paramedics moving from 8/17/08 forward only.
12:19:57:25 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: What I need from both sides, for me
12:19:59:21 anyway, how many personnel are in that category and
12:20:02:10 what are the expenses for those two?
12:20:05:22 And then I think we have more information.
12:20:08:03 >> I think we've already expensed it out.
12:20:09:24 We figured exactly how many EMTs and medics.
12:20:12:27 The $500,000 is what it would cost this fiscal year.
12:20:16:04 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay, then.
12:20:17:09 I guess we'll take a break now.
12:20:22:07 My dilemma here is that we need to hear from the
12:20:26:12 The public want to wait till after lunchtime.
12:20:38:22 >> Can we do public comment now in case --
12:20:41:28 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, the problem we have is -- how
12:20:45:01 many people want to speak?
12:20:46:09 Let me find out how many people want to speak?
12:20:58:06 >> There may be people outside, down in the Mascotte
12:21:01:24 Room and we don't know how many people would want to
12:21:10:28 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Of the five people that raised their
12:21:12:27 hand, are you going to be able to come back in an hour?
12:21:16:06 Anybody that's not able to come back, come forward.
12:21:21:07 Yes, sir, you want to address Council.
12:21:30:09 Give you about two minutes.
12:21:31:21 And then we'll take a break, hour break.
12:21:34:01 Be back at 1:30.
12:21:39:21 >> Good afternoon, Council members.
12:21:41:24 My name is Dominique Martinez.
12:21:43:15 I reside at 114 South Wall Street, Tampa, Florida.
12:21:48:09 The way I've come about all this is I recently
12:21:52:15 purchased fire station number five that's in the middle
12:21:55:06 of restoration.
12:21:57:18 And a long time ago when I was back in high school, I
12:22:01:03 was a volunteer fireman, New York for about seven to
12:22:04:24 nine months.
12:22:05:19 As a volunteer fireman, it was like every boy's dream.
12:22:08:19 That's one thing I realized.
12:22:10:00 What I learned and what I went through versus what I
12:22:13:03 saw was quite an experience.
12:22:16:03 I thought it was 35-cent beers and pancake Sundays
12:22:19:25 until I went to a working fire that was called at that
12:22:22:24 time, signal ten.
12:22:24:21 I don't know if the signals are the same.
12:22:26:00 The captain basically told me get the hook, grab all
12:22:29:16 the furniture and toss over the balcony so they can
12:22:33:18 extinguish it downstairs.
12:22:35:19 Not realizing what I was doing, I took the grappling
12:22:38:06 hook and grabbed on to a lazy boy recliner dragging it
12:22:42:00 across the living room, and everybody is yelling out my
12:22:44:24 Dominique, stop, what are you doing?
12:22:49:06 As soon as I let go of the tension of the grappling
12:22:49:25 hook, the recliner fell to the floor, and there was a
12:22:54:16 body that was charred blended in with the furniture
12:22:57:00 rolled out of it.
12:22:58:04 At that point in time, I realized that's not something
12:23:00:18 I was cut out for.
12:23:02:09 It's still something I still remember to this day.
12:23:07:09 I've gotten to know quite a bit of the fire department
12:23:09:22 throughout the area by purchasing fire station number
12:23:16:00 Several of the members, I can't remember names, they
12:23:18:12 frequently stop by my studio down at Channelside
12:23:22:12 offering any type services that I can.
12:23:24:15 And Chase one day took me around to basically help
12:23:30:15 research fire station number five going through
12:23:33:12 thousands and countless pictures and books trying to
12:23:36:12 find old pictures on fire station number five.
12:23:39:09 We spent literally about four hours with a friend of
12:23:42:21 mine going through boxes and boxes, and then he took me
12:23:47:10 around to several different fire departments.
12:23:50:21 >>THOMAS SCOTT: We're running out of time.
12:23:52:21 >> Went through several fire departments.
12:23:54:27 One thing that I realized at the stations is how
12:23:57:18 resourceful they have become these people because of
12:24:01:13 budget cuts.
12:24:02:12 They have to find resources to make certain types of
12:24:06:01 equipment -- may I continue, please?
12:24:09:03 >>THOMAS SCOTT: No, sir.
12:24:09:21 That's it.
12:24:10:21 We're going to stand in recess until 1:30.
12:24:13:15 Thank you.
12:51:28:00 [ Recess ]
12:51:28:06 >>THOMAS SCOTT: City Council will now come to order.
13:37:56:21 Roll call.
13:38:02:03 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.
13:38:02:15 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Here.
13:38:05:03 >> Miller?
13:38:05:21 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Here.
13:38:06:06 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: Here.
13:38:07:09 >> Mulhern?
13:38:09:07 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Here.
13:38:09:27 Is the city administration here?
13:38:13:24 As I recall, we recessed to give the administration an
13:38:31:00 opportunity to look at the numbers in the latest
13:38:32:18 proposal and prepare to --
13:38:36:12 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Mr. Chairman, I had the opportunity to
13:38:38:12 see Mr. Fletcher outside.
13:38:39:25 My understanding is they have been working on actual
13:38:42:12 language that has been prepared.
13:38:44:18 It is now being photocopied.
13:38:47:24 And it should be coming down to Council momentarily.
13:38:50:27 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Both sides or --
13:38:52:07 >>MARTIN SHELBY: I can't say more than that.
13:38:54:28 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Should we hear from the public?
13:38:57:00 >>THOMAS SCOTT: So then they are still working on
13:38:59:06 whatever the proposal is.
13:39:00:10 That being the case, we can go ahead and take public
13:39:04:22 If the administration is still working -- Mr. Smith,
13:39:09:06 did you want to speak to that?
13:39:11:07 >> Good afternoon, Council members, Darrell Smith, the
13:39:13:18 Chief of Staff.
13:39:14:18 We will be ready momentarily with the additional
13:39:16:28 information from the administration.
13:39:18:04 However, we have not had the opportunity to review the
13:39:22:12 text that Mr. Shelby was referring to at all.
13:39:26:16 The City Attorney's office, I believe, has asked the
13:39:30:03 union to put their proposal in writing.
13:39:33:15 We certainly do need to integrate a review of that text
13:39:37:10 as part of the process this afternoon would be
13:39:40:06 requested, please.
13:39:43:12 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Yeah, we haven't seen it either.
13:39:46:18 We are all on the same page.
13:39:48:10 >> Yes, sir.
13:39:48:18 >>THOMAS SCOTT: What we would like to do is go ahead
13:39:50:27 and begin public testimony while they are working on
13:39:54:09 So how many people want to address Council?
13:39:56:24 If you can come forward, please.
13:40:03:18 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Mr. Chairman, did you want to set
13:40:07:21 aside a specific time?
13:40:09:06 The last speaker you allowed two minutes.
13:40:11:01 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Two minutes, up to 30 minutes
13:40:15:09 We'll set aside at least 30 minutes.
13:40:19:06 So each speaker is allowed two minutes, okay?
13:40:22:19 State your name and address for the record.
13:40:25:01 >> Good afternoon.
13:40:25:28 My name is George Carter.
13:40:27:16 I retired from the Tampa fire department in 1979.
13:40:31:28 I retired as a fire captain in January of 2007.
13:40:37:21 I had to have a double lung transplant.
13:40:40:06 If I didn't have that, I wouldn't be alive right now.
13:40:44:00 I support my brother firefighters 100%.
13:40:46:00 I hope you all will give them the same courtesy.
13:40:50:04 Thank you.
13:40:50:09 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you, sir.
13:40:51:09 Thank you very much.
13:40:51:24 To all of the speakers, let me -- you don't have to use
13:40:58:12 the full two minutes.
13:40:59:19 You can, but you don't have to.
13:41:01:04 >> All right.
13:41:01:22 Good afternoon.
13:41:02:07 My name is Robert trucker.
13:41:05:01 I'm the first black firefighter that was hired here in
13:41:07:09 the City of Tampa.
13:41:10:18 I was terminated from the fire department on July the
13:41:13:18 I was hired December the 1st, 1968.
13:41:17:15 My certificate of tenure may the 2nd, 1972.
13:41:22:21 I was given 14 days leave without pay on June the
13:41:27:06 At the time, I was in the hospital.
13:41:31:24 On the 7th of July, I got a call from chief Roberts
13:41:35:19 saying that I should report to work, and I was unable
13:41:38:21 to report to work, and I lost my job.
13:41:41:03 The union failed to assist me.
13:41:47:04 I had to get private attorneys to help me.
13:41:49:12 Went before the civil service board.
13:41:51:28 And the civil service board ruled in my favor 3-2, and
13:41:59:03 a 30-day suspension.
13:42:00:21 The City of Tampa waited -- this was on the 5th of
13:42:05:24 The City of Tampa waited until the 12th of April,
13:42:08:25 1979 and they filed an appeal.
13:42:12:18 While it was on appeal, there was a pension check
13:42:15:03 number 067758 issued in my name for $9,238.23.
13:42:21:19 I've never seen the check.
13:42:23:27 I never touched.
13:42:26:01 I have a letter from my doctor stating that I could
13:42:29:27 return to work and also on the 4th of 1998, the
13:42:36:27 City of Tampa voluntarily withdrew its appeal.
13:42:40:18 May the 30th, 1980, a pension check was issued for
13:42:46:09 The check number 165013.
13:42:51:22 I haven't seen one penny of this money.
13:42:56:06 And why the union wouldn't protect me although I was a
13:43:01:06 dues-paying member, I was a member of the service
13:43:05:12 league and also in the sick leave act.
13:43:10:18 None of this was taken into consideration, and as of
13:43:14:15 today, 30 years, I still do not know why I haven't had
13:43:18:06 my job back.
13:43:19:12 What happened to my money, and why I contacted union
13:43:24:06 members, union president, people from the City of
13:43:26:15 Tampa, and I would just like to ask the City of Tampa
13:43:30:13 to look into this.
13:43:31:25 I think you have my address on there.
13:43:33:27 And if you could give me an answer.
13:43:36:12 I'd appreciate it.
13:43:37:03 Thank you very much.
13:43:37:12 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you, sir.
13:43:38:12 The next speaker.
13:43:46:09 >> Matthew RAMETTA.
13:43:49:12 I'm currently a captain with Tampa fire rescue and
13:43:51:28 initially I wasn't going to say anything but there are
13:43:54:12 a few things that I think both sides failed to mention.
13:43:57:21 With regards to some of the issues, the first thing
13:44:02:00 would be comparables.
13:44:02:25 The city wants to compare us to Polk, Pasco,
13:44:06:27 Hillsborough, large counties in population as well as
13:44:13:06 Kind of the same amount of employees.
13:44:15:01 But the thing that they don't mention is that -- you
13:44:18:00 can stand up and look out the window right there and
13:44:20:06 see all the special hazards that Tampa has that
13:44:22:18 Hillsborough doesn't have.
13:44:23:21 We have tank farms, cruise terminals, the port, the
13:44:28:09 This year, we have the Super Bowl.
13:44:32:01 Busch Gardens.
13:44:33:00 Not to mention the fact that most of the people that
13:44:35:28 work in Tampa don't live in Tampa.
13:44:37:27 They live in another county.
13:44:39:12 They commute in.
13:44:40:07 We don't have a lot of people living in the city
13:44:43:06 commuting out to the county.
13:44:44:13 So 40, 50 hours a week, you have all those people that
13:44:48:18 you have to still provide services to.
13:44:52:24 That's the first point.
13:44:53:27 The second point is retention.
13:44:56:03 The steps, like our union representative stated, they
13:45:01:06 are set up in a way to retain individuals.
13:45:03:19 The big thing is the pension.
13:45:05:12 You know, some of the older retirees started this with
13:45:08:18 the cops, and the pension is very good.
13:45:11:12 It's a private pension.
13:45:12:18 From what I understand, it costs the city less money to
13:45:16:12 pay into our pension than it would to be in FRS, the
13:45:20:06 Florida retirement system.
13:45:21:13 But one of the real strong things that we have is the
13:45:24:12 pension, and that helps to retain the people.
13:45:26:07 So when they talk about all the benefits we get, that's
13:45:29:06 a benefit that was started by the cops and by the
13:45:32:01 It wasn't started by the city.
13:45:34:12 And that's one of the things that retains people also
13:45:36:21 is the pension.
13:45:37:15 And finally, some of the slides or slide projectors
13:45:42:10 that I saw out in the other room there were talking
13:45:44:24 about the city's economy, the city's budget and the
13:45:47:15 city's cost with respect to electricity and gas.
13:45:50:27 You know, to me, you could just cross those out because
13:45:54:03 we have all those expenses.
13:45:55:15 You have all those expenses.
13:45:56:21 You can't take that into account and say, well,
13:45:59:16 electric has gone up because fuel has gone up and
13:46:02:12 everything like that.
13:46:03:07 And then, you know, you guys don't get extra money
13:46:06:06 because fuel has gone up.
13:46:08:00 And operating expenses and things of that nature.
13:46:12:03 And, you know, when you talk about gas, we don't get
13:46:15:03 take-home cars.
13:46:16:06 You know, not that I think we should have them.
13:46:20:00 Thank you very much.
13:46:20:07 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you, sir.
13:46:21:12 Next speaker.
13:46:22:03 Come on up real quick now.
13:46:30:21 >> John BOGISH, 712 Westwood Drive.
13:46:34:27 I put my words on paper to be efficient.
13:46:37:19 Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Chairman,
13:46:40:18 sister and brother firefighters, friends and family.
13:46:42:19 I'd like to take the opportunity today to speak to you
13:46:45:03 not only as a sworn dedicated Tampa firefighter and
13:46:47:24 paramedic, but as a faithful loving husband and father.
13:46:51:21 I believe it's unfortunate circumstances that bring us
13:46:54:28 here today, and I find the part that the city has
13:46:57:19 played to be regrettable.
13:46:59:07 Tampa firefighters have made every effort to work with
13:47:01:21 the city and negotiate in good faith the terms of a
13:47:04:18 fair and equitable contract.
13:47:06:15 However, the city has simply slammed a door in our face
13:47:09:24 with every effort we have put forth.
13:47:11:27 They have done nothing but attempt to gnaw away and
13:47:15:03 erode much of what we have worked very hard to earn,
13:47:17:24 not only through the previous years, but continue every
13:47:20:01 given hour of every given day.
13:47:22:01 At this very moment, I can assure you somewhere in this
13:47:25:06 city, Tampa firefighters are putting themselves in
13:47:27:13 harm's way serving the citizens of this city.
13:47:30:12 I started my career with Tampa fire rescue 11 years
13:47:34:10 I was fortunate to have offers from several
13:47:36:12 departments, but despite the fact that Tampa was not
13:47:38:24 the best paid, I chose Tampa fire rescue to pursue my
13:47:42:25 After all, this is the community in which I grew up.
13:47:45:03 I was taken a considerable pay cut to pursue a career
13:47:48:12 as a firefighter.
13:47:48:27 To have to make due with less was not an easy decision
13:47:51:22 for my wife and I.
13:47:53:06 We were already struggling as many young couples do
13:47:56:16 planning ahead for a family.
13:47:57:16 My family plans would have to wait as we would now have
13:48:00:07 to get by with even less for a while.
13:48:02:10 Although Tampa fire isn't the best paid or wasn't the
13:48:04:21 best paid, the opportunity to earn a better wage was
13:48:08:15 structured into the salary schedule as years of service
13:48:10:12 were obtained.
13:48:11:25 It seemed like a fair deal to me and my wife.
13:48:14:15 I may earn less but rewarded later for my hard work and
13:48:19:04 I'm now only months away from my 12th anniversary
13:48:23:07 date with Tampa fire rescue.
13:48:25:06 A benchmark currently referred to as a topped-out
13:48:29:12 It's this benchmark I've been working for to secure a
13:48:32:03 better future for my family.
13:48:33:07 Now on the cusp of that accomplishment, the city wants
13:48:35:21 to take that away.
13:48:36:18 At any given moment I'll risk, or if necessary,
13:48:39:13 sacrifice my life to save yours.
13:48:42:18 As a Tampa firefighter, that's what I do.
13:48:44:15 That's what we all do.
13:48:45:25 I ask nothing in return but to be treated fairly and to
13:48:49:28 be able to earn a fair wage so I can support and raise
13:48:53:10 my family.
13:48:54:03 Thank you.
13:48:54:24 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you, sir.
13:48:55:21 Next speaker.
13:49:00:25 >> Hello.
13:49:01:10 My name is Justin Thompson.
13:49:03:00 I've been a firefighter with the City of Tampa for
13:49:04:24 two-and-a-half years.
13:49:05:24 When I was hired, I was told by the city that it was
13:49:09:25 necessary to become a paramedic within three years or I
13:49:12:13 would be terminated.
13:49:13:15 No other compensation was offered even upon completion
13:49:16:21 of the 42 credit hours that it takes to complete the
13:49:19:22 state requirement.
13:49:20:18 Comparatively, the fire medics at Hillsborough County
13:49:24:00 are paid $6,000 incentive a year, and Temple Terrace
13:49:27:16 fire medics are paid a $5,000 a year incentive.
13:49:31:12 If the city council decides to restructure our current
13:49:35:06 step plan as proposed by the City of Tampa, it would
13:49:37:15 take an additional five years for me to reach the top
13:49:40:24 pay step of my current rank.
13:49:43:09 This means that in order to reach the pay grade that is
13:49:45:27 currently possible in a 20-year career, it will take me
13:49:49:07 more like 25 years.
13:49:50:12 It would also deny Tampa fire rescue personnel the
13:49:53:18 paramedic incentive pay which as a result many young
13:49:57:06 firefighters like myself will begin to pursue options
13:49:59:15 outside of Tampa fire rescue.
13:50:01:03 I don't like the thought of leaving Tampa fire, but
13:50:03:13 when I accepted my position with TFR, I did so
13:50:07:06 believing that one day I would benefit from the
13:50:09:06 structure of our current contract.
13:50:10:21 I made both career and life plans based on this pay
13:50:14:09 I left the University of Florida, relocated to the
13:50:17:07 Tampa Bay area, purchased my first home, became engaged
13:50:20:06 and began to plan my future around the idea that my
13:50:23:01 hard work and sacrifices now would pay off in the
13:50:25:27 I appreciate your time.
13:50:28:21 Thank you.
13:50:29:00 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Thompson.
13:50:30:12 The next speaker.
13:50:31:09 Anyone else?
13:50:37:18 >> Good afternoon.
13:50:38:15 Robert ray.
13:50:39:13 I am the west central Florida federation of labor
13:50:42:15 central labor Council president, AFL-CIO.
13:50:47:06 I come before you standing in solidarity with my
13:50:49:03 brothers and sisters for the firefighters and their
13:50:53:16 You all have a great decision to make here today and
13:50:57:03 I'm sure and confident that you will make the proper
13:50:59:09 decision, because this not only affects the
13:51:03:12 firefighters and their families, it affects the other
13:51:05:15 unions that are in the bargaining trades and the
13:51:09:03 bargaining Councils with the City of Tampa.
13:51:11:27 Those are things that we all stand united together as
13:51:15:19 members of labor.
13:51:17:21 I'll see you here again in the near future when it
13:51:20:22 comes up to other negotiations.
13:51:22:07 I just want the Council to remember, these are, again,
13:51:26:19 as it was last month, not just numbers.
13:51:31:15 These are families, these are lives, and you can't just
13:51:35:07 mess around with those as black and white on paper.
13:51:39:19 There's a lot more to it than that.
13:51:42:24 Again, we stand united.
13:51:44:06 Thank you.
13:51:45:04 >> Good afternoon.
13:51:53:12 My name is Tim Johnson.
13:51:55:09 Thank you for your time today.
13:51:57:09 When I was starting my career as a firefighter, I had a
13:52:02:03 couple of different options that I was going to look
13:52:05:01 As all of you don't know, I have three older brothers
13:52:08:07 that work for Tampa fire rescue.
13:52:10:06 And at that time, they persuaded me -- or convinced me
13:52:13:27 to come to Tampa fire rescue, because eventually your
13:52:16:18 salary, your merit increases will equal or catch up to
13:52:20:01 the other departments you might be looking at and
13:52:21:27 maybe, just maybe exceed those.
13:52:24:12 In my 19-year career, that has happened for myself.
13:52:27:12 But I look at these younger guys that are coming on
13:52:31:27 behind me and looking at the fact that the city is
13:52:33:24 wanting to take away that 12th step and move it to a
13:52:36:25 19th step.
13:52:37:25 And I feel sorry for those guys and all due respect for
13:52:40:24 Mrs. Crum, she said it's like a master patrolman, but a
13:52:44:22 master patrolman reaches that at his 10th year, not
13:52:48:06 his 19th year.
13:52:49:06 A year ago, my second to the oldest brother left the
13:52:52:06 department to go to another department with starting
13:52:54:28 pay was substantially more than what the City of Tampa
13:52:57:18 He left here as a driver engineer, but the thing that
13:53:01:04 amazed me the most was when he went to that new
13:53:04:03 department, they said if you can become a paramedic
13:53:06:06 within whatever time frame you choose to become a
13:53:09:09 paramedic, we'll give you a $10,000 pay raise.
13:53:12:12 I attended his paramedic graduation this past January.
13:53:15:16 And upon completion of that paramedic school, he got a
13:53:18:18 $10,000 pay raise.
13:53:20:09 That to me is a substantial raise.
13:53:22:01 With all due respect, I please wish if you would
13:53:27:03 consider our offer and what the union is asking today.
13:53:30:04 Thank you for your time.
13:53:32:19 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Anybody else?
13:53:33:15 Next speaker?
13:53:34:15 All right.
13:53:36:22 Thank you.
13:53:38:13 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I'd like to ask a question about
13:53:40:04 whether being a paramedic is a requirement now when
13:53:42:21 you're hired by the fire department, and how many there
13:53:47:12 >>THOMAS SCOTT: We can let the administration answer
13:53:49:00 that question.
13:53:52:13 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: My question is, are you now required
13:53:54:16 to be a paramedic, and how many firefighters do we have
13:53:59:10 and how many of them have that certification?
13:54:04:03 >> Our firefighters, I understand, are required to be
13:54:08:03 EMTs at the outset of their employment.
13:54:10:00 And they can become a paramedic within three years.
13:54:13:00 That is a requirement.
13:54:14:15 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: So all new hires will be required
13:54:19:25 within three years to become certified as paramedics.
13:54:24:09 >> Yes, ma'am.
13:54:24:21 And have been for several years.
13:54:27:18 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: And currently, do they receive any
13:54:30:00 additional compensation for that?
13:54:31:12 >> They receive additional compensation as a paramedic
13:54:35:09 when they are actually promoted to the paramedic pay
13:54:38:21 But we have many paramedics who do not receive
13:54:43:21 additional pay for that.
13:54:44:21 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: How much more do we pay when they
13:54:47:06 are paramedics?
13:54:48:00 >> I would have to look at the wage schedule to be able
13:54:50:01 to answer that.
13:54:50:16 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I think the union folks can answer.
13:54:53:09 >> They probably can.
13:54:58:18 >> Just so we're clear, not just the new members, our
13:55:02:00 paramedics, they are required to become a paramedic
13:55:03:21 within three years or be terminated.
13:55:05:21 They do this pretty much at their own expense.
13:55:08:01 They can get a little bit of tuition reimbursement
13:55:10:09 pretty much at their own expense.
13:55:11:24 But there are many, many more paramedics that are out
13:55:16:00 on engine companies.
13:55:17:10 She said do people get paid additional money when they
13:55:20:09 get promoted, that's true, but they are on the rescue
13:55:23:01 All our vehicles are ALS engines.
13:55:26:10 Somebody has to be a medic to carry the drugs to save
13:55:28:18 people's lives and use their skills.
13:55:30:06 Everybody who is a medic uses them skills on a daily
13:55:33:16 basis, not just the ones who get promoted and get that
13:55:36:06 little stipend for it.
13:55:37:09 Because that's a promoted position.
13:55:39:09 Just like if you are a captain, you are promoted up the
13:55:42:01 You'll get more for promotion.
13:55:43:25 Medics are not paid for their certification, they are
13:55:46:09 paid for the promotion and position they are in.
13:55:48:06 If you are a firefighter on an engine, you do not get
13:55:51:12 paid unless you go through a paramedic program, that's
13:55:55:12 only if you are a firefighter.
13:55:56:18 Drivers who have to act as paramedic, captains that
13:55:59:10 have to act as paramedic, anybody else doesn't get paid
13:56:01:24 this stipend.
13:56:02:13 That's why we are asking for it for all medics across
13:56:04:27 the board.
13:56:05:21 Everybody used in that position but only a select few
13:56:10:24 paid for it.
13:56:11:09 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Let's hear from the administration.
13:56:12:22 Have you had a chance to look at your numbers and the
13:56:15:00 last offer?
13:56:15:18 And also, Mr. Fletcher, I understand you were looking
13:56:19:06 at the language, and if so, have you done that?
13:56:25:15 >>BONNIE WISE: Good afternoon.
13:56:26:07 Bonnie Wise, director of revenue and finance.
13:56:28:00 We are still working on a multiyear, five-year chart,
13:56:31:07 but we've had the opportunity to look at the numbers
13:56:34:04 provided to us right before the break.
13:56:35:27 And I think also we have asked the union to put their
13:56:39:09 proposal in writing so we made sure exactly what we
13:56:42:00 were costing was what they were proposing, because we
13:56:44:21 didn't have anything in writing.
13:56:46:13 But where we are now, and if I could use the ELMO.
13:56:49:06 We have looked at the new numbers, and we thought it
13:57:23:27 was very important to look at both fiscal year '08
13:57:27:06 differences and fiscal year '09 differences.
13:57:31:24 Once again, we are trying to put this in a graphical
13:57:33:28 form for you.
13:57:34:24 We came up to a little bit higher than what the union
13:57:37:15 was showing, the '08 proposal was for.
13:57:40:16 And the reason that we thought it was so important to
13:57:42:16 look at '09's impact was because as was proposed, part
13:57:48:10 of the proposal is just for a short time.
13:57:51:12 And so we needed to show you what that impact would be
13:57:53:27 the following year as well.
13:57:55:06 So I believe that the number that the union was coming
13:57:58:27 up with was about $518,000, total cost of '08.
13:58:06:10 And we were coming up with 685.
13:58:08:06 I'd say that's within the range of different
13:58:13:28 I don't think they included in their assumptions some
13:58:17:27 of the benefits that needed to be included.
13:58:20:00 When do you the full wage calculation, they did include
13:58:23:01 We included all that which needed to be included.
13:58:25:21 That's why I believe our number is a little higher.
13:58:28:24 But need to see the '09 impact and the difference.
13:58:32:24 And the difference, really, you can see is in the
13:58:35:18 EMTs and the paramedics because you're going to have
13:58:37:10 a full year's impact of that rather than just about six
13:58:40:22 weeks or so impact.
13:58:42:04 So that's why I really thought it was important to show
13:58:46:06 you those.
13:58:46:25 Because their number, to the best of my knowledge, is
13:58:50:19 giving the '08 snapshot.
13:58:59:18 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Chairman, if I may ask, is this
13:59:01:28 proposal -- and I heard some Council members whisper
13:59:06:00 because I guess they are like I am in the same -- which
13:59:09:28 proposal is this?
13:59:10:18 Is the one that says 3% October 1st, '07 and then a
13:59:15:12 2% on April the '08 or March 31st, '08?
13:59:20:09 Is that the one that's calculated here?
13:59:23:15 >>BONNIE WISE: It's the 3% back to 10/1.
13:59:28:12 It is 2% back to April 1.
13:59:31:00 And it is the $30 biweekly for EMT and $110 biweekly
13:59:42:01 for paramedics.
13:59:43:25 And they have removed the airport marine so we zeroed
13:59:48:27 that out.
13:59:49:15 It was less than 200,000.
13:59:54:09 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: What is the administration's feeling
13:59:56:12 on this?
13:59:58:22 >>BONNIE WISE: Well, we are really concerned about the
14:00:00:12 recurring nature of these costs.
14:00:03:03 So remember that this would get added on the extra
14:00:06:09 percentage on an ongoing basis.
14:00:08:25 So it's not so much the wage proposal that we're having
14:00:13:09 a problem with.
14:00:14:04 It's the EMT and paramedics, very short period of time
14:00:18:25 that's really causing confusion on our part.
14:00:21:24 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Clarification on this.
14:00:23:07 Does this reflect -- it seems to me there are two parts
14:00:26:00 to the wage package.
14:00:28:21 There's the percentage, the across the board percentage
14:00:33:21 and then the step package.
14:00:35:06 Is that reflected here?
14:00:37:15 >>BONNIE WISE: We do not make a change to the step
14:00:40:00 package for these numbers.
14:00:43:19 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: So is the union proposing --
14:00:47:15 >>BONNIE WISE: It's the union's proposal of the step
14:00:50:13 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Which is pretty much what's going on
14:00:53:06 now, where at the 11th year it goes up
14:00:55:28 significantly --
14:00:57:07 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes, ma'am.
14:00:59:27 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Thank you.
14:01:00:15 Two things, Mr. Parker, you have a printed version of
14:01:08:06 your revised offer that you can give to Council.
14:01:12:00 That's number two.
14:01:14:06 But eventually just give it to us so we're not in
14:01:18:00 But Bonnie, as related to -- FY '08, 685, 685
14:01:24:24 additional over where the administration is now, that's
14:01:27:04 the way I read that, correct?
14:01:29:18 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes.
14:01:30:18 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: And then a million six 0 six for FY
14:01:34:27 '09 which we haven't gotten to but we're about to get
14:01:38:12 Did the administration in the budget package that you
14:01:42:01 all brought to us a few weeks ago, is there an increase
14:01:46:27 under the fire -- under the line for fire, salary,
14:01:50:15 benefits, et cetera, is there an increase for FY '09
14:01:54:18 that's already built into the budget that you gave us
14:01:56:21 two weeks ago?
14:01:58:04 >>BONNIE WISE: Yes, but it's consistent with our
14:02:00:04 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: And how much would that be?
14:02:03:12 >>BONNIE WISE: We have in there the total amount that
14:02:06:09 we put on the table for this contract.
14:02:10:09 So anything more would have to be -- we'd have to work
14:02:13:12 on that for the '09 budget and make an adjustment for
14:02:17:00 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Right now you have zero.
14:02:18:07 >>BONNIE WISE: No, no.
14:02:20:03 What we have proposed is incorporated.
14:02:21:27 We have enough money in the '09 budget that I presented
14:02:24:21 to you to do what we have been proposing from the
14:02:26:28 administration side.
14:02:28:07 If we do something more than that, we'll make an
14:02:30:19 adjustment before you --
14:02:32:21 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: As related to this second column, FY
14:02:34:24 '09, I would interpret what you just said to say that
14:02:38:06 you have zero right now.
14:02:40:01 >>BONNIE WISE: We don't have the million six.
14:02:42:10 I think that's what you're asking me.
14:02:44:12 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Right.
14:02:45:12 So you've got --
14:02:48:06 >>BONNIE WISE: Because this is the difference.
14:02:51:00 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: This is the delta.
14:02:52:24 All right.
14:02:58:00 Appreciate your quick response.
14:03:03:00 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Any other questions?
14:03:04:10 Yes, councilwoman Mulhern.
14:03:06:13 >>MARY MULHERN: I wanted to follow up on councilman
14:03:08:21 Dingfelder's questions, because we do have this
14:03:11:06 printout -- which actually I guess my question is for
14:03:19:18 the economist.
14:03:22:16 This printout that shows the budget, did that come from
14:03:27:27 >> Yes.
14:03:28:07 >>MARY MULHERN: It did?
14:03:30:03 But was it downloaded off the city Web site, or did you
14:03:33:15 create this?
14:03:35:09 >> The data that's contained in the columns for the
14:03:39:06 October -- I'm echoing -- for the October budget, the
14:03:43:21 current budget, the year-to-date budget, all of that
14:03:46:12 information was provided by the finance department and
14:03:50:06 computer files.
14:03:51:16 The only column that's there, if you could hold it up
14:04:00:10 >>MARY MULHERN: It's your page, well, it says one of
14:04:03:25 It's the last page.
14:04:12:24 I guess my question --
14:04:21:15 >> I'll tell you which columns are the ones that I made
14:04:23:25 calculations on.
14:04:24:18 One is the one that says projection greater than August
14:04:28:18 That's just the simple addition, subtraction.
14:04:31:25 The city projection information came from the
14:04:34:19 supplemental budget that's for fiscal year '09.
14:04:37:16 >>MARY MULHERN: So that's the city's projection?
14:04:40:06 >> Yes.
14:04:40:13 The one where it says projection adjustment, that's --
14:04:44:24 that column is the differences between the city's
14:04:49:28 projection and the information that is contained in the
14:04:56:12 year-to-date data, which -- or my adjustment to it.
14:05:02:06 Where you see, for instance, the adjusted projection,
14:05:04:16 that last column, and you're looking at the pay
14:05:07:00 adjustment's line item.
14:05:09:19 The city has a projection of spending all that money in
14:05:13:10 the next four weeks of $3.6 million.
14:05:15:24 I'm saying you're not going to spend it.
14:05:18:01 So, therefore, the projection adjustment for that line
14:05:22:03 in that column is a negative $3.6 million.
14:05:25:12 All other data came from the city's records.
14:05:33:00 >>MARY MULHERN: So, Bonnie, maybe you could speak to
14:05:35:24 Because it looks to me like we do have the money if
14:05:39:07 what he's saying is correct, that there is -- that the
14:05:43:25 budget has already projected that additional for, let's
14:05:48:12 see, public safety 5 million.
14:05:52:00 And then when you go down to just the pay adjustments,
14:05:55:19 the 3.6 million.
14:06:03:04 I was asking Bonnie.
14:06:05:24 >> Oh, I'm sorry.
14:06:06:24 I didn't hear.
14:06:08:03 I apologize.
14:06:11:24 >>BONNIE WISE: With all due respect to Mr. Jessup, he
14:06:15:12 has taken some downloadable files and he does not know
14:06:19:03 how we're planning to spend our monies by the end of
14:06:21:06 the year.
14:06:21:21 This is the '08 budget.
14:06:24:01 Like I mentioned, we have budgeted for some increases
14:06:27:03 in the '08 budget.
14:06:28:19 We have budgeted for '09 increases in the '09 budget.
14:06:32:10 This is more than that which we have budgeted is what
14:06:35:19 I'm trying to tell you.
14:06:36:15 >>MARY MULHERN: Well, can you then show us something in
14:06:39:04 writing or tell us what you've budgeted?
14:06:41:04 If these numbers aren't correct, how do we know --
14:06:45:01 >>BONNIE WISE: This isn't just for fire.
14:06:47:00 This is for other employees as well.
14:06:54:21 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay.
14:06:55:19 All right.
14:06:56:12 Well -- I guess, whatever your projected -- what line
14:07:05:21 items you have in there for this coming budget year.
14:07:12:21 I mean, even if it includes -- this is broken down into
14:07:16:18 fire rescue at that top level, the top line.
14:07:21:27 I'm echoing.
14:07:25:06 >>BONNIE WISE: It's parts of our budget and compiled
14:07:28:15 this into a spreadsheet.
14:07:30:21 >>MARY MULHERN: Right, right.
14:07:31:16 That's why I'm asking you.
14:07:32:21 I thought maybe you could tell us what is budgeted.
14:07:40:00 >>BONNIE WISE: I'm sorry.
14:07:40:25 He has taken our numbers and modified them.
14:07:44:12 I have increases in there for all of our employees.
14:07:53:19 >>MARY MULHERN: Don't have it broken down for fire.
14:07:55:12 >>BONNIE WISE: This is the difference.
14:07:56:27 What I'm trying to show you today is that this is the
14:07:59:12 difference in our proposal.
14:08:03:09 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay.
14:08:05:06 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, let me tell you what my issue and
14:08:09:00 concern, going back to the '08 budget in the budget
14:08:11:21 book, I saw that months ago, that number.
14:08:15:06 And I kept saying why is that number out there?
14:08:18:21 Why is there that much money for pay adjustment and yet
14:08:21:15 you have not drawn down that.
14:08:23:15 Why is that?
14:08:25:15 I mean, if you're saying that this is in there for pay
14:08:29:27 adjustments, managers, fire, whoever, but you haven't
14:08:32:16 drawn down on this.
14:08:33:15 >>BONNIE WISE: You know, we haven't gotten to the
14:08:36:15 year-end yet.
14:08:38:00 And most of this is for fire.
14:08:40:03 Most of this is for fire.
14:08:42:25 I'm telling you that there is an incremental
14:08:48:12 And that's all I'm trying to share with you, is that
14:08:51:13 there is an incremental difference.
14:08:53:06 We have budgeted -- we have budgeted for fire increase.
14:08:56:19 We fully expect to give our firefighters an increase.
14:09:03:00 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
14:09:03:21 Any other questions?
14:09:07:15 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Have you had a chance to do the
14:09:09:00 projection I had asked for?
14:09:13:16 >>BONNIE WISE: They are busily working on the
14:09:21:15 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Any other questions, Council members?
14:09:24:00 Mr. Fletcher -- I'm sorry, Mr. Smith, did you want to
14:09:34:15 say something and then Mr. Fletcher needs to go over
14:09:36:21 the language with us?
14:09:38:09 >> Yes, sir, Darrell Smith.
14:09:39:19 In the interest of providing some input from the
14:09:42:27 administration with regard to the letter that
14:09:47:12 Mr. Parker sent you, it's undated, I think I understood
14:09:53:27 or heard you say it was received this week.
14:09:55:21 The administration has not seen that letter in the
14:10:00:09 There was some discussion of those terms, but there was
14:10:05:10 never a tentative agreement in the prior bargaining
14:10:10:19 We have reviewed the letter and the terms that are in
14:10:15:15 the letter, and even though we are talking about I
14:10:21:06 believe a $523,000 increase above what we had on the
14:10:26:27 table, we are willing to accept that as a compromise
14:10:33:12 with the union.
14:10:34:18 With the terms as laid out in the letter.
14:10:40:07 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: I think more importantly would be
14:10:41:18 this document.
14:10:44:03 >>THOMAS SCOTT: That's why I was going to have the City
14:10:47:03 Attorney come, because he said we couldn't do anything
14:10:50:09 until he put it into the correct language in the
14:10:52:27 So he has to address that.
14:10:54:09 >> Trying to give you a baseline or additional input.
14:10:58:00 >>THOMAS SCOTT: As I understand it, Mr. Smith says they
14:11:00:27 are prepared to accept the offer from the fire union.
14:11:07:07 >> As outlined in the letter from Mr. Parker to you.
14:11:10:18 >>THOMAS SCOTT: And I'm assuming that Mr. Fletcher has
14:11:13:06 taken that language in this document that he's going to
14:11:15:21 cover with us.
14:11:16:13 That's what I'm assuming.
14:11:21:27 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: Actually, that language you have
14:11:23:03 before you was prepared by the union counsel to reflect
14:11:25:18 their proposal.
14:11:26:18 If you'd like, we can talk about it.
14:11:32:03 We can go through it.
14:11:33:06 One thing I do want to make a note of so you are aware
14:11:37:01 and it's in the record, in the copies that were
14:11:39:12 distributed, there's one page that is missing.
14:11:44:03 There are no changes made on that page, but the intent
14:11:47:00 I believe is to continue to include all of section 11
14:11:54:18 in the agreement including the section 11.10 and 11 --
14:12:04:03 11 and 12, there's one page that didn't get copied.
14:12:07:16 There were no changes made to that page, to my
14:12:09:27 So just for the record, there are some -- it's in the
14:12:16:09 materials that we have.
14:12:17:03 We can try and get a copy of that.
14:12:19:12 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: There are no strike-throughs or
14:12:21:19 Let me get a clarification so we can get out of here.
14:12:25:00 The letter that was provided by Mr. Parker that we've
14:12:29:03 been working off of, three paragraphs undated, has now
14:12:32:10 been put into contract language.
14:12:33:24 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: Well, yes, although this language
14:12:36:06 before you also includes the discussion of the EMTs
14:12:39:06 and the paramedics.
14:12:40:15 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Which the city is not agreeing to.
14:12:45:03 Mr. Smith?
14:12:46:09 I was really optimistic that you were.
14:12:51:10 >>DARRELL SMITH: Darrell Smith, Chief of Staff.
14:12:54:04 My point was that the union says per that letter that
14:12:56:12 they previously made that offer to the administration.
14:12:59:21 They put that letter forward to Council members in
14:13:01:28 preparation for today's session, and after evaluating
14:13:04:12 it, even though we did not have the benefit of seeing
14:13:07:03 it in advance, we are willing to accept the terms as
14:13:10:01 laid out by the union.
14:13:11:09 And the EMT is not in the letter.
14:13:14:13 It was not even brought forth in the form that they
14:13:18:09 have now until today.
14:13:20:10 They were talking in terms of a percentage increase for
14:13:23:01 EMT and paramedics.
14:13:30:03 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: So the city is willing to accept the
14:13:33:01 The union has offered the letter plus the EMT, which is
14:13:36:24 part of this document.
14:13:38:01 So we're not there yet.
14:13:42:24 >> There's also an issue that the Council raised about
14:13:45:27 what can be the duration about which this decision
14:13:48:18 continues to have effect and whether it continues over
14:13:52:22 into the next fiscal year.
14:13:54:24 When we get to the appropriate point, they probably
14:13:56:25 need to address that with you all, and then we can
14:13:59:16 discuss it.
14:14:01:00 Because we may need to change some of the language to
14:14:04:04 reflect that issue depending on what your decision is.
14:14:09:03 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilwoman Saul-Sena.
14:14:09:28 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I wondered if the slide that Bonnie
14:14:14:03 showed us for the cost for 08 and 09, if that was
14:14:20:24 printed out and we could have it?
14:14:36:00 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Can I ask a quick question,
14:14:37:28 Mr. Chairman?
14:14:38:18 It looks like we're down to the EMT issue, unless I'm
14:14:42:03 butting in front of somebody.
14:14:43:21 Sarah or Kim, on the H.R. side, have you all -- you-all
14:14:54:16 have, I'm sure, just like Mr. Smith did the MGT study
14:15:01:12 that you all did the MGT study and you looked at
14:15:04:09 comparable jurisdictions around the state, et cetera,
14:15:06:04 et cetera for the rest of the employees and management
14:15:09:09 and all that type of thing.
14:15:10:27 Can you identify any jurisdictions around this area or
14:15:19:03 around the state that do not offer some additional
14:15:23:04 compensation for EMT or paramedic?
14:15:26:09 >> I don't know the answer to that question standing
14:15:28:04 before you.
14:15:28:22 I'm sorry.
14:15:30:00 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: All right.
14:15:30:15 The question is pretty simple, though.
14:15:32:06 If you know of any jurisdiction that does not offer
14:15:36:07 additional pay for EMT or paramedic.
14:15:38:24 If you don't know --
14:15:40:06 >> I can't name one.
14:15:41:09 That's the answer.
14:15:42:09 I can't name one.
14:15:43:09 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Are you aware there are many
14:15:44:22 jurisdictions that do?
14:15:46:21 >> I can't answer that.
14:15:48:03 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: All right.
14:15:48:21 Can Sarah answer that?
14:15:49:24 I think it's a pretty important question that you-all
14:15:55:16 have been wrestling with I'm sure for the last year.
14:15:58:10 Is there anybody in the administration that can answer
14:16:03:03 >>DARRELL SMITH: Darrell Smith, Chief of Staff.
14:16:05:12 Sarah can come back in here momentarily.
14:16:07:22 She's trying to work on the other chart.
14:16:09:12 When you get into trying to compare with other
14:16:14:09 jurisdictions, it really is difficult because you could
14:16:17:03 ask the same question as area asking where how many
14:16:22:03 other jurisdictions have a 20-year pension or
14:16:24:21 retirement plan with a 3.15 multiplier where after 20
14:16:29:10 years, regardless of age, Tampa fire rescue can retire.
14:16:35:09 Can really becomes very difficult to get a viable
14:16:42:15 And I believe the special magistrate included that in
14:16:46:04 his overall assessment.
14:16:48:00 That was part of his work.
14:16:50:25 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Mr. Smith, as long as you're
14:16:52:28 standing there voluntarily, are you aware of any
14:16:55:15 jurisdictions that do not offer additional pay for EMT
14:16:58:00 or paramedic?
14:16:59:06 >>DARRELL SMITH: The answer is no.
14:17:00:06 If Ms. Lang can come up, she can probably go through
14:17:03:12 the spread sheets and give you that information.
14:17:05:12 Do you want Ms. Lang to come up?
14:17:09:07 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: If she has anything additional.
14:17:11:06 >> I don't.
14:17:12:18 Every jurisdiction is different.
14:17:15:25 I know St. Petersburg puts their paramedics at a
14:17:18:15 different pay grade like we do.
14:17:20:10 I can't answer your question with great certainty.
14:17:24:21 I'd have to do the research.
14:17:26:01 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Okay.
14:17:27:00 And I want to make sure -- Sarah, you can help me on
14:17:30:15 You've been around on these issues longer than about
14:17:33:16 I want to make sure if we granted the EMT paramedic, it
14:17:38:19 wouldn't be a double opportunity.
14:17:42:00 I want to clarify that.
14:17:44:21 In other words, it looks like what the intent of the
14:17:48:16 union is that everybody with an EMT certificate gets
14:17:51:07 the $30 biweekly regardless of what their pay grade is.
14:17:55:09 But what I want to make sure is if you got that
14:17:58:13 additional pay grade that you wouldn't sort of get the
14:18:01:00 double dip.
14:18:01:27 >> The way that is written right now, they are planning
14:18:04:09 for everyone to get it regardless of your pay grade.
14:18:07:06 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: But you wouldn't get it twice.
14:18:08:24 You wouldn't get that plus the pay grade.
14:18:11:12 >> Well, that's not what their proposal says.
14:18:13:10 Their proposal provides that payment also to the F-4
14:18:17:06 paramedics and the F-5 rescue lieutenant.
14:18:19:16 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: All right.
14:18:20:01 We need to get that clarified again.
14:18:22:00 >> As I understand their proposal, that is what it is.
14:18:23:27 That is what their proposal is.
14:18:27:04 So they'd get both under their proposal.
14:18:31:28 >> That is our proposal.
14:18:32:25 The reason that is is, the paramedics they are talking
14:18:36:10 about, they are not getting that extra pay and grade
14:18:38:21 for being a paramedic, that is a paramedic position.
14:18:40:24 They are getting that for the job that they do.
14:18:43:06 They are on the transport unit so they get an extra pay
14:18:46:04 grade because they are on a transport unit but they are
14:18:48:18 not getting a stipend for being a paramedic.
14:18:50:09 If you didn't pay them the stipend, the guys on the
14:18:52:28 engines who aren't transporting would catch up to that
14:18:55:12 pay grade.
14:18:55:27 They get there because of the job he does.
14:18:57:27 Just like a captain because he's in charge of a unit.
14:19:00:04 The lieutenant on a rescue car gets the pay grade not
14:19:02:15 because he's a paramedic, yes, requirement to get it
14:19:05:06 for promotion, but because of the lieutenant job just
14:19:07:15 like EMT captain on an engine and the driver on the
14:19:10:24 rescue unit is getting it because he's a driver of the
14:19:13:07 rescue unit, just like a driver on the engine.
14:19:15:24 It's a promoted position.
14:19:17:01 Not an assignment.
14:19:17:24 It's a promotion.
14:19:18:21 So they should get the stipend on top because they are
14:19:21:15 getting for the certification.
14:19:22:28 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: You guys live and breathe this stuff
14:19:25:09 day to day, it's harder for us to understand because
14:19:28:25 it's just a little complicated.
14:19:31:15 I appreciate the explanation.
14:19:33:12 Thank you.
14:19:33:21 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I don't.
14:19:34:24 If you wouldn't mind, so they get both.
14:19:37:18 They get their additional pay grade and they get the
14:19:40:15 extra $30 every two weeks or 110.
14:19:44:16 >> Yes, because they are not -- they are being
14:19:46:22 compensated in the positions for the job that they do,
14:19:49:04 not for their certification.
14:19:51:03 Like I said, you can be a captain --
14:19:53:27 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: So -- taking what you just said,
14:19:57:15 would they get the additional money or no?
14:20:01:06 >> They, they would.
14:20:02:00 Now they are getting compensated for their
14:20:03:16 certification, their paramedic certification.
14:20:07:00 Right now they are getting compensated for either being
14:20:08:24 in charge of a unit or driving that unit, just like
14:20:12:09 someone drives the fire truck or rides as a captain on
14:20:13:09 a fire truck.
14:20:14:12 They are not transport units.
14:20:15:15 They are getting paid their salary for the job they do.
14:20:19:04 This is a certification pay for the continued education
14:20:21:04 and the certification that they obtained.
14:20:23:15 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: To go back to the analogy that
14:20:24:18 Mr. Dingfelder used before with the master's or
14:20:27:18 doctorate degrees, they get recognition of this
14:20:31:27 additional training but then they also get
14:20:35:15 additional --
14:20:36:10 >> They get their normal salary.
14:20:37:18 Like Mr. Dingfelder says, he gets a master's degree, he
14:20:41:06 gets a stipend on top of this.
14:20:42:27 Basically what it is.
14:20:43:19 Pay grade and then little stipend on top of it.
14:20:49:00 >>MARY MULHERN: Let me take a stab at this because it
14:20:51:15 doesn't seem that complicated to me.
14:20:53:00 But they are getting a stipend for their certification
14:20:57:21 and their training either as an EMT -- or as an EMT at
14:21:02:27 one rate and as a paramedic at another rate.
14:21:05:07 What they are talking about paramedic job, it's a
14:21:11:06 dedicated, it's a job title that they are getting paid
14:21:14:19 So it would be like if Mr. Dingfelder got promoted to
14:21:19:15 assistant principal, he would probably still be
14:21:23:28 compensated for being having a higher level job and for
14:21:27:15 having that master's degree.
14:21:29:03 >> Correct.
14:21:29:18 That is correct.
14:21:37:01 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: They never considered me for
14:21:39:07 principal assistant.
14:21:43:04 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Mr. Fletcher, did you finish reviewing
14:21:45:15 with Council?
14:21:46:24 Is there anything else?
14:21:49:25 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: Well, as I understand the issue,
14:21:54:09 perhaps Mr. Gonzalez should come up and state his
14:21:57:21 position, there's a question as to whether or not the
14:21:59:28 Council can impose on the administration terms that
14:22:04:22 will apply for FY '09 through this process.
14:22:08:22 And he has one position.
14:22:11:09 I believe Mr. McCabe has a different position.
14:22:14:04 And I would ask that you hear that before I advise you
14:22:18:18 on how to move forward on that issue.
14:22:22:06 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Well, you have a position,
14:22:24:00 Mr. Fletcher?
14:22:26:00 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: I'd like to hear their positions
14:22:28:18 first because I have not heard that out yet.
14:22:31:09 But I have read the statute, and I'm familiar with the
14:22:39:24 >> Briefly, on the issue of -- I think there needs to
14:22:42:21 be a little clarification on this issue of the EMT pay,
14:22:47:06 paramedic pay.
14:22:48:04 I don't think Mr. Parker is trying to suggest that we
14:22:52:04 think that anyone should get paid twice.
14:22:55:22 In other words, paid for having the patch.
14:22:58:09 They get a patch when they become EMTs and they get
14:23:01:18 another patch when they become paramedics.
14:23:03:10 We're just talking about getting paid once, not twice
14:23:06:12 for getting the patch and then on top of that for doing
14:23:09:06 the work.
14:23:09:25 I just don't want it to sound like --
14:23:16:21 >> I don't think he is, there's no contention that
14:23:18:13 this -- this sheet here doesn't show anybody who gets
14:23:22:06 paid for both a patch and assignment.
14:23:23:28 Just to be sure everybody is on the same page.
14:23:26:12 In other words, you don't get paid for getting a
14:23:28:09 paramedic patch and having it.
14:23:30:06 And, in fact, my experience has been that not all these
14:23:32:28 people get pay just for having the patch.
14:23:34:27 They get paid when they are assigned to ride paramedic.
14:23:40:06 Speaking to the -- speaking, if I could to the law, I
14:23:49:27 don't think there's any question, but the law on
14:23:53:01 special master and impasse in subsection E says that
14:23:58:16 the action that you all take today shall take effect as
14:24:02:18 of the date of such legislative body's action for the
14:24:05:22 remainder of the first fiscal year which is the subject
14:24:08:21 of negotiations.
14:24:09:27 So you are talking today about action that whatever
14:24:12:10 your resolution is going to be is going to be in effect
14:24:14:16 for the fiscal year and then the bargaining takes place
14:24:19:00 basically de novo from that point forward.
14:24:26:13 >> Very briefly, with regard to whether or not what you
14:24:29:25 do here today becomes part of the status quo,
14:24:32:19 obviously, I disagree with Mr. Gonzalez.
14:24:35:18 First of all, what you will ultimately do today will
14:24:38:07 have to be taken back and, certainly, if it's ratified
14:24:41:10 and not ultimately imposed by you, we think it becomes
14:24:44:16 part of the status quo.
14:24:45:24 If it is ultimately not ratified and imposed by you, we
14:24:49:22 believe that it would become part of the status quo at
14:24:52:06 that point.
14:24:53:00 That's the position that we have at this point, and I
14:24:56:15 think it's a legal issue that would have to be resolved
14:24:59:12 through litigation if we can't resolve it otherwise.
14:25:03:19 >> With all due respect that might have been the case
14:25:05:19 had the union presented this to the chief executive.
14:25:08:00 But I remind Council that this proposal was never
14:25:10:24 presented to the chief executive.
14:25:12:09 It never came here as an impasse.
14:25:14:22 And if it's imposed now, it is up to both parties to
14:25:18:06 accept it.
14:25:19:00 And I think the law speaks for itself, when it said
14:25:22:06 this is for the fiscal year that ends and then the
14:25:24:12 people have to bargain --
14:25:26:00 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, Mr. Fletcher, now, my
14:25:28:09 understanding is that based on the information that I
14:25:31:10 received that Council can move, either accept or
14:25:35:13 reject, special master recommendation, or we can accept
14:25:39:07 administration or the union recommendation.
14:25:40:22 Isn't that what our conversation was?
14:25:42:24 >> Yes, that's correct, sir.
14:25:44:12 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I'm hearing something different now.
14:25:46:10 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: Well, there's a subtle distinction
14:25:49:06 here that Mr. Gonzalez is raising.
14:25:50:24 After the hearing today, you all will make a decision.
14:25:58:06 I'm sure they'll correct me if I'm wrong about this.
14:26:00:24 But the way I read the statute is that you all make a
14:26:03:13 decision today, that will clearly apply to the period
14:26:07:16 for this current contract, which is FY '08.
14:26:11:03 Then it goes to the union and to the administration for
14:26:16:21 ratification by the union and acceptance by the
14:26:19:18 administration in the form of an actual collective
14:26:23:16 bargaining agreement.
14:26:24:16 If that occurs, it will come back to you for approval
14:26:28:15 through a resolution, as we would any other contract.
14:26:31:25 If that is not accepted, I believe that at that point,
14:26:35:16 you have a different definition of what the status quo
14:26:37:19 is, and they will be in a different position for
14:26:41:09 purposes of bargaining the next contract.
14:26:43:12 You guys may want -- counsel for the respective parties
14:26:49:06 may want to elaborate on that a little bit, but I'm not
14:26:52:03 sure that we need to do anything different here today
14:26:55:22 other than approve what you all believe is under the
14:26:58:18 statute in the public interest, including the interest
14:27:02:09 of the employees of the city.
14:27:04:21 And then we may just let them work out that decision,
14:27:09:00 whether or not the administration is going to accept
14:27:10:21 this and whether the union is going to ratify it and
14:27:15:00 they can deal with it in their negotiations going
14:27:17:00 forward for FY '09.
14:27:24:07 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Mr. Smith, I see you rising.
14:27:26:21 Do you want to address Council?
14:27:29:03 >>DARRELL SMITH: One more input.
14:27:30:10 Darrell Smith, the Chief of Staff, pertaining to the
14:27:33:24 paramedic situation.
14:27:35:21 We came into this proceeding talking in terms of a
14:27:38:27 proposal that referenced percentages.
14:27:42:25 Now we are at a point that we have a fixed amount for
14:27:47:15 each of those categories, and we have concluded that we
14:27:53:18 are not aware of what other jurisdictions throughout
14:27:58:15 the state currently pay for each of those, whether
14:28:03:10 there are any that do not pay anything at all for each
14:28:07:18 of the two categories.
14:28:09:22 And we also, and you are in a situation where how do
14:28:14:00 you determine whether $30 biweekly and 110 biweekly is
14:28:19:00 a valid number?
14:28:20:27 Because you need some additional information before you
14:28:24:18 can make a good decision would be a consideration to
14:28:30:06 keep in mind.
14:28:31:27 Now, one option, if it is, in fact, true, that this
14:28:34:18 would cover the FY '08, the current year, if this goes
14:28:44:06 forward without an EMT, we go back to the bargaining
14:28:49:27 tables for FY '09 in October.
14:28:53:12 And at that point, the union could present more
14:28:58:03 information to the administration.
14:28:59:28 The administration would have a better opportunity to
14:29:02:09 look at that, to compare with other jurisdictions, if
14:29:07:10 appropriate, and work it out at our level.
14:29:09:15 If we are not able to work it out at our level, we are
14:29:12:15 going to be right here back at an impasse for the next
14:29:15:09 contract year.
14:29:16:06 So that is something for Council's consideration.
14:29:21:06 Thank you, sir.
14:29:24:06 >>MARY MULHERN: Yes, that was going to be what I was
14:29:26:12 going to maybe ask Mr. Fletcher.
14:29:28:13 Apparently, even though we're almost into fiscal year
14:29:32:00 '09 and they've been working without a contract for the
14:29:37:21 last year, there's no way that we can make this a
14:29:45:10 contract for next year, too.
14:29:47:12 Is there any way we can do that?
14:29:50:09 >>CHARLES FLETCHER: Not the way I read the statute.
14:29:52:09 We'd have to go through the process that I described
14:29:54:06 that's outlined fairly specifically in statute.
14:29:56:19 This is the process the legislature has put in place,
14:29:59:00 and I think we need to follow that, if counsel for
14:30:04:09 either party wants to suggest a different process, I
14:30:07:15 suppose we could hear that.
14:30:08:21 But I think we're really just focusing on FY '08 now,
14:30:13:00 and we'll have to deal with FY '09 going forward.
14:30:16:21 >>MARY MULHERN: So same time next year, everyone, we'll
14:30:19:18 be back here, and I think that it's interesting because
14:30:23:00 we're going to come to a conclusion here that a lot of
14:30:28:12 people spent a year not arriving at.
14:30:32:15 Too bad we can't do it for the next fiscal year.
14:30:36:12 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
14:30:38:15 Mr. Chairman, I've heard from both sides and I know
14:30:40:21 they are both honorable and well intended, I still
14:30:43:21 don't get one side is telling me this.
14:30:45:22 The other side is telling me that.
14:30:47:12 And in the center, somehow there's a fact that I
14:30:50:27 haven't received.
14:30:51:27 Well, they say some get a bonus or -- or for EMTs and
14:31:00:01 paramedics, but the whole package, I don't know.
14:31:02:09 I don't know.
14:31:05:24 I don't know what the package is between the center of
14:31:08:03 Florida and I look at it, well, one-third of the
14:31:10:27 population in the state is the corridor of I-4 that
14:31:13:24 they talk about, quote, unquote, the political sector.
14:31:16:18 You win that, you win everything.
14:31:18:12 I never ran for that.
14:31:19:19 I've lost a lot of elections by a few thousand votes.
14:31:23:06 But let me say this, what is the package between the
14:31:27:06 areas that we discussed, St. Pete, Pinellas, Pasco,
14:31:31:22 Lakeland, Temple Terrace, Plant City, Orlando, Daytona,
14:31:36:21 all of it, what is the total package.
14:31:39:01 I haven't heard one person on either side tell me the
14:31:42:15 total package.
14:31:43:24 I don't want anybody here to leave with the
14:31:47:03 understanding that we voted on something that don't
14:31:51:12 know what it's about.
14:31:52:16 And I want to help anyone that needs help, but at the
14:31:56:15 same time, I got to know where the help is coming from.
14:31:59:12 And the statistical data.
14:32:05:28 I've heard we're going to leave, go to different
14:32:07:04 I want to know what the departments offer.
14:32:08:19 I don't have that.
14:32:09:18 And I'm talking to both sides at the same time.
14:32:11:25 So it's incumbent for me to understand where we are at.
14:32:18:06 What is going on.
14:32:19:09 Where do these facts and figures come from?
14:32:22:09 Out of the three that we talked about earlier,
14:32:25:00 Mr. Jessup brought up, this is the third time since the
14:32:27:24 '70s, this is my second, two out of three.
14:32:30:16 I did one in the '70s when the gentleman was
14:32:33:04 Mr. MacManus, if I remember correctly.
14:32:35:09 So I'm trying to recollect all the things and put them
14:32:40:07 together, and I just -- I'm falling short.
14:32:42:25 I don't have that information on the total package, the
14:32:46:12 requirement package, the incentive package.
14:32:49:00 I don't know.
14:32:49:15 So many things are going on that it's hard for us to
14:32:52:12 follow, or for me anyway.
14:32:54:04 I can't speak for the other six.
14:32:55:18 That's what I need, Larry.
14:32:57:03 I know you're anxiously awaiting to give it to me.
14:33:01:22 >> As far as the retirement benefits, they vary
14:33:03:18 throughout the state.
14:33:04:12 We pay for our pension.
14:33:05:16 Compare Hillsborough County local.
14:33:06:15 They don't pay a dime to their pension the firefighters
14:33:08:22 The city pays everything.
14:33:09:27 It's 20 some percent.
14:33:11:00 Our city has been paying in the single digits.
14:33:13:21 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: County.
14:33:14:09 And they are taking over half of your duties.
14:33:16:21 >> Yes, exactly.
14:33:17:13 As far as the EMT and medic go --
14:33:19:01 [ LAUGHTER ]
14:33:19:28 As far as the EMT and medics, we provided you a
14:33:27:24 document, and there are some that don't pay for EMT and
14:33:30:04 medic, but if you look at their pay grades, even with
14:33:32:19 adding EMT and medic they are above us.
14:33:34:12 If you look at some of these, Palm Beach County,
14:33:37:21 paramedics 15.87% above.
14:33:39:13 12.5% for Broward County.
14:33:41:16 2.6% of pay for Clearwater.
14:33:45:06 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I understand.
14:33:45:28 The other side will tell me that's in a foreign
14:33:51:24 >> Well, we have the facts right here.
14:33:53:01 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I understand.
14:33:54:09 But you have to understand where we are at.
14:33:58:10 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Larry, how many -- you heard my
14:34:00:21 concern earlier about sort of the double hit there.
14:34:05:27 How many folks are in that paramedic category,
14:34:09:25 percentage or numbers, how many are there?
14:34:14:06 Are we talking about half the force or ten percent
14:34:19:13 or -- chief, you're there.
14:34:21:19 >> In the paramedic rank, there's probably assigned to
14:34:25:19 the rescue cars we have, I think, pull the number, 13,
14:34:28:19 rescue cars with two people on each car on a given day.
14:34:31:18 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: So that's 26 --
14:34:35:15 >> Times three shifts.
14:34:36:22 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: A hundred people or something.
14:34:39:01 >> Out of medics, we probably have a -- half the
14:34:41:19 department is EMTs and half probably paramedics.
14:34:44:24 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: What's the total bargaining unit
14:34:47:12 >> We have approximately 560 in our bargaining unit.
14:34:50:10 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: So about a fifth of the folks we're
14:34:53:15 talking about.
14:34:58:00 Let's get a motion going.
14:34:59:16 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I still need to raise one question with
14:35:01:24 Ms. Wise again, and I have the budget book 08.
14:35:06:25 Again, going back to this figure I saw several months
14:35:09:21 ago where it says salary increases for IAFF uniform
14:35:15:00 fire contract, professional supervisor manager staff, a
14:35:18:27 figure of $3,614 -- no, $3,614,388.
14:35:27:10 That figure has not moved.
14:35:34:21 I'm still concerned if that was budgeted for '08 and
14:35:37:27 that number is still there.
14:35:39:03 Of course, you said you are holding till the end of the
14:35:42:24 >> About a million four of that is for the
14:35:50:00 >>THOMAS SCOTT: So a million four is for the
14:35:51:24 firefighters, and you still have 2.2 remaining.
14:35:57:18 >>BONNIE WISE: But that's because we were proposing 3%.
14:36:02:12 We included what we were proposing plus a little extra
14:36:06:09 for any other things that would come out of the
14:36:08:27 contract negotiation.
14:36:09:19 So we included enough to cover our proposal.
14:36:21:16 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
14:36:22:27 >>BONNIE WISE: The steps are put somewhere else.
14:36:25:21 We included enough to pay their steps and whatnot as
14:36:28:06 I'm talking specifically wage.
14:36:30:24 I'm afraid that you and I are talking apples and
14:36:33:16 oranges, and I just want to make it very clear that we
14:36:35:21 have included enough in the '08 and the '09 budget to
14:36:39:09 pay the firefighters the wage proposal that we have
14:36:43:01 I want to assure everybody that we have enough to make
14:36:45:12 that payment.
14:36:48:10 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilwoman Saul-Sena.
14:36:49:00 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Thank you.
14:36:50:03 It seems to me that one of the most important things
14:36:52:06 that are part of our deliberation is not only what is
14:36:56:18 happening for the rest of '08, this fiscal year, which
14:36:59:00 is rapidly growing to an end, but what is going to
14:37:01:24 happen in the future and what the projections would be
14:37:05:09 based on decisions we make today.
14:37:07:18 And to the end, I really need the projections.
14:37:11:25 Do you have them yet?
14:37:12:21 >>BONNIE WISE: Well, they did come in to show me, and I
14:37:17:00 saw that there was an error on the future years.
14:37:20:04 So that was why I sent them -- and I'm so sorry,
14:37:24:22 because if I had had this proposal yesterday, I would
14:37:27:27 have prepared that for you today.
14:37:29:22 So I do apologize.
14:37:34:15 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: It seems to me there are three parts
14:37:36:06 to this.
14:37:37:24 There's the cost of living, there's the steps, and
14:37:40:00 there's the additional remuneration for EMT and
14:37:43:25 And I really need to understand what the long-term
14:37:52:28 trajectories of those would be.
14:37:54:13 Because I know that part of the concern is the
14:37:56:19 multiplier effect.
14:37:57:22 Part of it I would assume level every year.
14:38:01:15 I mean, I would assume that that's true, for example,
14:38:06:18 what you get as a paramedic or EMT, which currently
14:38:09:12 aren't in the city, the administration's proposal.
14:38:12:00 But then the cost of living, you know, the percentage
14:38:14:18 that it goes up compounds every year.
14:38:16:18 And the step, I think what the city's proposal was, was
14:38:22:06 by putting off the 11th year hit to the 19th year,
14:38:25:13 a savings until the 19th year.
14:38:27:16 And then that altogether is how our budget will be
14:38:32:15 impacted into the future.
14:38:36:19 >>BONNIE WISE: Right.
14:38:37:09 Like I said, for the '09 budget the difference is about
14:38:40:15 that million six.
14:38:41:06 What they are doing is doing it for 2010, 11, and 12.
14:38:45:15 But that was why I needed to show you not just '08
14:38:48:28 impact because there is an '09 impact.
14:38:53:15 And the quirk here, I apologize for the quirk, the
14:38:57:28 difference is this change in the EMT and the
14:39:01:00 Because it's really throwing us off for having it for
14:39:04:15 this short time period.
14:39:05:24 If we, frankly, dealt with it later and dealt with it
14:39:08:24 for the '09 and talked about it during our negotiation,
14:39:13:04 it just makes everything much cleaner.
14:39:16:12 But because it's for this short time period and what
14:39:19:09 happens the following year, that's what is causing my
14:39:27:15 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I would really like to get us off the
14:39:31:09 Do you want to make a motion?
14:39:32:09 >>MARY MULHERN: I'll make a motion.
14:39:33:27 Can I ask one question, though?
14:39:35:15 From Mr. Parker, was this specific proposal for the EMT
14:39:44:27 and the paramedics ever part of your discussions
14:39:48:22 >> Not the lesser amount.
14:39:49:24 It seems like the city is coming up here and
14:39:51:27 complaining that we reduced what we're asking.
14:39:54:18 We considerably reduced what we're coming.
14:39:57:01 We came in asking two percent, seven percent and
14:39:59:27 considered reducing significantly.
14:40:01:18 Seems like they are complaining.
14:40:03:06 That number will be way lower.
14:40:04:21 >>MARY MULHERN: Specifically for the paramedics and the
14:40:08:00 You are saying that was a discussion, you've come
14:40:10:00 down --
14:40:10:21 >> We've come way down, yes.
14:40:13:06 >>MARY MULHERN: Thanks.
14:40:27:06 >>MARTIN SHELBY: I had assumed that the public hearing
14:40:29:00 was open.
14:40:29:19 Was there an official motion to ever open the public
14:40:33:03 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Let me hear the motion.
14:40:35:06 >>MARY MULHERN: I was going to make a motion to accept
14:40:38:09 the proposal as written with the missing page included
14:40:44:18 for the city to agree to effective September 30th,
14:40:51:06 2006, increase 3% across the board in addition
14:40:56:03 effective March 30th, 2008, the September -- the
14:41:00:09 September 2007, 30th, 2007 schedule increased by an
14:41:05:15 additional 2% across the board, and to include the
14:41:10:22 additional stipend or increases for EMT $30 -- was that
14:41:19:13 a week? Biweekly and for paramedics 110 biweekly.
14:41:32:06 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: Do you have this?
14:41:33:01 Can you show it to us?
14:41:34:09 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
14:41:35:21 There's a motion.
14:41:36:10 Pretty much that's what is in this document here, is
14:41:38:10 that right?
14:41:40:15 >> I wanted to clarify one thing.
14:41:42:03 You have before you the impasse items.
14:41:44:03 And I'll read off the sections.
14:41:45:16 The sections that are modified in here do correlate to
14:41:48:27 what are impasse.
14:41:49:27 The missing page does not include any of the sections
14:41:52:12 that are under consideration today.
14:41:53:28 It would be section 10.1, section 10.2, section 10.3.
14:42:07:15 On sections 10.5, 6, 7, 10.10, there are no changes
14:42:15:18 being made to that as the city was proposing under this
14:42:20:19 And then in article 11 would be section 11.4, 11.6, and
14:42:30:03 And just so we're clear, the changes that are being
14:42:41:12 proposed then from the existing contract are in section
14:42:46:24 10.1, 11.4.
14:43:01:12 Those are the two changes that I see going through
14:43:03:22 their proposal.
14:43:04:15 So the other ones would remain unchanged.
14:43:10:18 >>MARY MULHERN: Amending, accepting the union's
14:43:12:24 proposal with the changes to section 10.1 and 11.4.
14:43:27:06 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: As I've stated, my concerns are the
14:43:30:00 long-term implications of this.
14:43:31:18 And it's a very important concern because the state is
14:43:35:13 not going to be allowing the city to have the sorts of
14:43:39:21 revenues that we've had in the past.
14:43:41:09 Our general cost of operating are going up.
14:43:46:04 And I really want to see some projections of what these
14:43:49:24 commitments would be in the future.
14:43:50:21 And I'm just asking, I don't know whether the long-term
14:43:58:00 implications -- I believe that our firefighters deserve
14:44:04:10 additional compensation for the additional training
14:44:06:06 that they received.
14:44:07:03 I don't know how this stacks up.
14:44:09:09 It seems modest.
14:44:12:10 I just need some reassurance that this is in line with
14:44:16:21 what other folks get and that long term it isn't going
14:44:22:10 to be compounded.
14:44:23:27 It's a concern.
14:44:24:21 Maybe the firefighters can speak to that.
14:44:29:19 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Let me speak to it quickly, Linda,
14:44:31:27 and maybe Bonnie will add to it.
14:44:34:04 I'm less concerned now than I would have been on the
14:44:38:15 issue earlier.
14:44:39:06 We're here for the long haul.
14:44:40:27 We have to be concerned about the future, the city long
14:44:43:18 haul as well, of course, as our good, hard workers
14:44:48:06 But I'm less concerned now, and I'll tell you why.
14:44:51:09 Because instead of that EMT schedule being a floating
14:44:56:12 schedule based upon -- I think earlier it was 2.5% or
14:45:03:03 7.5%, that would -- the way I read that, that would
14:45:08:09 flow with the amount that the person was earning.
14:45:10:27 Whereas this is a fixed number.
14:45:14:00 It doesn't matter if that person is there 30 years, he
14:45:17:03 or she is still only going to make approximately a
14:45:20:07 thousand dollars more for his EMT certificate or
14:45:23:12 $3,000 more approximately for his or her PM
14:45:29:27 I think that helps give us guidance in the future
14:45:32:13 because it's a fixed number and you know where it's
14:45:34:21 going to be.
14:45:35:15 Bonnie can chart it out.
14:45:37:03 And yes it will rise.
14:45:38:15 It will rise as the number of folks get those
14:45:41:03 certificates, because not all of them have it and they
14:45:45:10 will have it eventually as new people cycle in,
14:45:48:19 eventually we'll have 100%, but we know where that
14:45:51:04 number will be.
14:45:51:27 But that issue is less of concern.
14:45:53:15 The other thing is, Tom Gonzalez stood up here and gave
14:45:56:28 an indication that he's not necessarily going to back
14:46:00:00 off a month from now and concede that the city is going
14:46:02:13 to give in on that particular provision of 11.4 when
14:46:08:00 they start the negotiations again.
14:46:09:12 Apparently, chip has told us I think by his silence
14:46:12:00 that there's really not much we can do about it today.
14:46:16:15 So all we are doing is fixing it for this fiscal year.
14:46:20:09 If the administration wants to start over again on that
14:46:22:06 issue, that's their prerogative.
14:46:24:12 However, I think by doing this, we're sending a message
14:46:26:18 that we think EMT, paramedic training and certificate
14:46:29:09 is worth something and we should be compensated for.
14:46:33:19 I think based upon all the -- you know, the union has
14:46:36:10 come a long way on this.
14:46:37:21 And I think that's what compromise is about.
14:46:42:19 We walk around this city and we say in our campaign
14:46:46:06 literature, there's nothing more important than public
14:46:49:07 And we love to get a picture ourselves embracing police
14:46:52:27 or fire person on our campaign literature just on that
14:46:56:15 And we all do it.
14:46:58:03 When push comes to shove --
14:47:02:22 >>THOMAS SCOTT: I don't have one.
14:47:03:28 >>JOHN DINGFELDER: Well, we try.
14:47:05:18 When push comes to shove, that's where we are today, is
14:47:07:25 that we have to show that there's nothing more
14:47:10:04 important than public safety.
14:47:12:00 The fire folks are just as important as the police
14:47:15:12 The other thing, my assistant Cindy pointed this out
14:47:19:09 She went -- she Googled up what $33,000 is as related
14:47:23:18 to the free federal lunch program.
14:47:25:28 $33,000 is basically what the starting pay is as far as
14:47:29:07 I can see from these charts.
14:47:30:22 If you have one child and $33,000, you qualify for the
14:47:35:18 federal free lunch program.
14:47:37:01 So let's not go into this saying that these folks are
14:47:40:10 overpaid and spoiled and everything else, because I
14:47:42:18 don't see it.
14:47:43:03 I think morale is a huge issue.
14:47:45:00 I think the step plan needs to be modified.
14:47:50:06 Hear me loud and clear because we might be back here,
14:47:52:18 as Mary pointed out, same time next year.
14:47:55:01 I think the step plans to be modified because it's all
14:47:58:06 herky-jerky and all over the place.
14:48:00:15 Everybody has admitted it's all out of whack.
14:48:02:13 At the same time, I think the administration has come
14:48:03:24 in and just said, bam, we're going to fix it overnight.
14:48:06:27 And I don't think that's the solution.
14:48:08:09 So I would urge both sides over the next several years
14:48:11:03 to get that thing fixed, but it's not an overnight
14:48:14:18 So right now, we're leaving the step plan alone.
14:48:17:09 Status quo.
14:48:18:01 You know, I think that we've reached a good compromise.
14:48:21:18 I'm willing to support the motion.
14:48:23:06 Appreciate the motion.
14:48:26:24 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
14:48:30:13 No one is going to debate Mr. Dingfelder, but I know
14:48:34:16 some attorneys that don't make $40,000 a year.
14:48:37:09 I'm not talking about you, sir, but in general.
14:48:39:22 I can tell you that us here haven't taken a raise in
14:48:44:12 two years, maybe three years.
14:48:44:13 We do the same thing we've done in the past.
14:48:44:19 I've given back $11,800 on my travel because I knew we
14:48:49:03 were in trouble.
14:48:50:21 I don't travel.
14:48:53:22 I'm not better than anybody else.
14:48:55:07 I'm not above anybody else.
14:48:56:21 I just think and I'm thinking what Mr. Dingfelder said
14:49:01:09 and Ms. Saul-Sena said, what happens in November?
14:49:05:06 And here's where you're going to be at a disadvantage.
14:49:08:10 If the public passes, I think it's amendment five,
14:49:11:00 there are so many amendments, I think it's five, and
14:49:13:24 that amendment reduces the ad valorem tax by 25%, it's
14:49:20:03 going to be very, very difficult.
14:49:21:27 And whether we like it or not, that's not our decision,
14:49:26:06 not the union's.
14:49:27:01 Not the city's.
14:49:27:27 Not the Council's.
14:49:30:03 That's the public reaching out.
14:49:32:00 Government has changed, and I'm not preaching.
14:49:34:13 That's up to Mr. Scott.
14:49:35:21 Government has changed.
14:49:38:10 Yesterday's government is not today's government.
14:49:42:19 What do I mean by that?
14:49:46:15 Used to be a lot more freewheeling.
14:49:48:21 There were a lot more revenues coming down.
14:49:51:21 It's a little bit more difficult now to get anything
14:49:53:28 passed that creates revenue.
14:49:55:06 Let me warn everyone that the CIT tax, was not passed
14:50:01:18 It has an ending.
14:50:02:21 I believe it started September the 4th of 2006 and it
14:50:05:15 ends in 30 years.
14:50:06:24 When that happens, we're going to have an equipment
14:50:10:06 problem, not only in the police department, not only in
14:50:12:21 the fire department, but all over the city, although it
14:50:17:15 gives you -- it gives you monies to buy things, you
14:50:20:03 can't spend it on employment, if I remember correctly.
14:50:23:22 I voted against that tax because the billionaires
14:50:27:19 became trillionaires off of your money.
14:50:31:07 Some of you may still hate me for that, God bless you.
14:50:35:21 My wife don't like me every evening sometimes.
14:50:39:00 But I can tell you this, if it wasn't for that tax and
14:50:41:27 I voted against because it gave money and that tax was
14:50:44:15 sponsored by certain individuals who spent almost
14:50:47:01 500,000 and won by about 2%.
14:50:51:21 Those monies were allocated to do the wealth thing for
14:50:56:15 the city but nobody published when fire, police,
14:50:59:24 culture activities back in February of that same year.
14:51:02:27 But in September, they got together the powers that be
14:51:05:21 and did that.
14:51:06:09 Well, the public is now reacting to those things, and
14:51:09:09 that's why they are in an uproar, not because of that.
14:51:12:10 You see, we in government sometimes say we're going to
14:51:15:09 fix things, and we get tax -- and we give tax breaks to
14:51:20:03 all the big people.
14:51:20:28 There's nothing wrong with having money.
14:51:22:13 If those people didn't have money, we wouldn't have
14:51:25:01 What I'm saying is, the public is now in a rebellious
14:51:28:24 I can't change that attitude.
14:51:30:06 Neither can you.
14:51:32:07 That's a general public view.
14:51:33:18 I can understand Ms. Saul-Sena's remarks, because she's
14:51:37:10 talking about the uncertainty of the future.
14:51:39:10 I work with water and things like that to make sure
14:51:45:03 we'll have that in the next 20 to 30 years, I don't
14:51:47:27 know what the future will hold in finance.
14:51:49:09 I don't think anyone does either.
14:51:51:15 I can tell you like you good brothers and sisters here,
14:51:55:07 I've always had two jobs.
14:51:56:21 I know of you do, too.
14:51:58:24 If you want to get ahead, you have two jobs.
14:52:01:00 Some of you have three like I've had.
14:52:04:04 I've always learned one thing, save one paycheck aside.
14:52:07:28 You'll be surprised how it multiplies at 4%.
14:52:10:06 But it's something that you have to do for yourself at
14:52:13:18 some point.
14:52:14:10 I want to vote for you.
14:52:16:09 I don't know if I can vote for the total package.
14:52:18:15 I'm telling you very sincerely, I voted for you in the
14:52:21:27 I voted to support the fire department.
14:52:23:18 The fire department has always supported me.
14:52:26:06 The issue for today is what's the uncertainty for
14:52:29:15 That's what concerns me the most.
14:52:31:00 All of you, every one of you has worked very
14:52:33:24 diligently, not for your families, but for the whole
14:52:37:10 citizens of the City of Tampa.
14:52:38:09 And that included your family.
14:52:42:25 It's a very difficult thing to sit here and maybe the
14:52:50:12 other six are smaller than I am -- thank you,
14:52:51:01 Mr. Chairman.
14:52:51:06 I know you were.
14:52:51:12 But what I'm saying is, I just don't understand all the
14:52:56:12 figures that are thrown at us because it's impartial.
14:53:02:07 It's in pieces.
14:53:03:12 We're saying now 3% since October of '07 and two
14:53:07:01 additional percent since April of '08.
14:53:10:00 That's fine.
14:53:10:25 I understand that.
14:53:11:10 What happened to that 5%, 5%, 3.5%, 3%?
14:53:16:12 Where did that go?
14:53:19:12 Is it still on the table?
14:53:21:06 It's gone?
14:53:22:09 No one said that.
14:53:25:13 All they talk about 3% and 2%.
14:53:27:24 I can support that portion.
14:53:29:06 I didn't know about the others.
14:53:34:07 But I'll warn both sides that if this thing changes in
14:53:37:13 November, if you think this negotiation was tough,
14:53:41:21 we're going to be here for a long time negotiating.
14:53:44:15 Because it's going to be -- because there's going to be
14:53:47:19 no money.
14:53:48:15 And that's the only thing I'm going to say.
14:53:51:12 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
14:53:52:15 Thank you all very much for showing up.
14:53:53:19 >>MARY MULHERN: Yeah, I just want to reassure you,
14:53:57:12 Charlie, that was off the ballot.
14:53:59:12 It's not on the ballot.
14:54:00:15 We may have another year at least.
14:54:02:07 I just want to say that they're being fiscally
14:54:10:15 conservative and investing wisely in protecting the
14:54:13:09 public dollar and then there's seeming like you're
14:54:16:09 doing that.
14:54:17:03 I haven't gotten any, not one word from anybody in the
14:54:22:09 City of Tampa -- well, there's few people who weren't
14:54:27:22 happy with their contracts years ago, but other than
14:54:30:09 people who had a few sour grapes, nobody in the city
14:54:32:13 has told me that they don't think that our firefighters
14:54:34:24 deserve to have these increases or that they think that
14:54:39:10 it is a waste of money.
14:54:40:18 So I think there's been a lot of talk in the paper
14:54:44:18 about it, but that's not what I'm hearing from people
14:54:47:16 on the streets.
14:54:48:09 People value this more than anything in such insecure
14:54:52:24 economic times, I think people want to feel like the
14:54:55:21 very least they can count on is their first responders
14:55:03:13 and the people that protect them are going to be there
14:55:05:19 and can afford to live here, and can afford to continue
14:55:09:00 to be here to serve them.
14:55:10:06 So I think that this is modest.
14:55:14:09 They have come down from over a year, and it's only
14:55:18:27 going to be for a month.
14:55:19:22 So I don't think that we really need to worry so much
14:55:21:22 about that.
14:55:22:12 My hope is that the negotiations on this next contract
14:55:31:15 will be fulfilled.
14:55:32:18 And if we can do this in a few hours, I think that the
14:55:37:13 administration and the union should be able to in a
14:55:41:00 month or so arrive at some kind of agreement and not
14:55:45:19 force people to be waiting for their pay increases for
14:55:48:16 a year.
14:55:51:21 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Councilman Saul-Sena and then
14:55:53:21 councilman Caetano.
14:55:55:07 >>LINDA SAUL-SENA: I want to compliment everybody for
14:55:56:27 the flexibility that they have shown in the last 24
14:55:59:18 It's been quite impressive.
14:56:00:28 And I have a suggestion for the step increases.
14:56:03:15 I made the suggestion to both sides and neither had
14:56:06:09 suggested it.
14:56:06:28 So I'll throw it out there.
14:56:08:06 And that is starting from today forward that any new
14:56:12:12 hires by the fire department go to what the city is
14:56:15:15 proposing for the future, but that for the current time
14:56:20:15 what is is, and that perhaps there's an eye toward
14:56:23:10 phasing in changes over time.
14:56:25:09 It seems very erratic the way it is now.
14:56:28:18 I think a more linear system makes sense.
14:56:31:22 I don't think it's appropriate to penalize people who
14:56:34:06 signed on with the existing system.
14:56:37:03 But it's obvious to me for the future we need to go
14:56:39:27 toward something that's more evenly distributed.
14:56:43:22 And so just over time, we'll be able to absorb this
14:56:52:12 erraticness and make it a smoother system.
14:56:56:28 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: Mr. Chairman, thank you.
14:56:58:09 When Charlie mentioned the CIT tax in '96 when you had
14:57:02:15 that black suit, do you remember that?
14:57:06:18 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I'll wear it next Thursday just for
14:57:10:00 >>JOSEPH CAETANO: But anyway, I've been in the City of
14:57:11:25 Tampa 21 years, and I've watched the City Council for
14:57:16:00 years where the revenues were down here and the
14:57:18:06 revenues came up the next year like this.
14:57:20:06 I remember Dick Greco saying we don't get enough money
14:57:23:09 from ad valorem tax to pay our police department.
14:57:25:27 And he was right.
14:57:26:25 But we spent money foolishly every year.
14:57:30:24 Look at the amount of revenue that has come in from new
14:57:34:24 construction, remodeling and everything else.
14:57:36:24 We spend it never thinking about what's going to happen
14:57:39:04 down the road.
14:57:39:22 The road is here today.
14:57:40:27 And we have to make a decision.
14:57:42:15 And we have to be frugal and these men and women work
14:57:49:03 their butt off.
14:57:50:27 I know the fire department works hard.
14:57:52:25 I see them up and down Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
14:57:55:06 The traffic is so bad, they can't get there.
14:57:57:18 But that's going to be improved very shortly.
14:58:00:06 Thank you.
14:58:01:13 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Well, let me just thank all of you
14:58:03:21 today for being here and thank the administration and
14:58:05:24 the fire union for working and trying to resolve the
14:58:10:03 I think everybody has come to some resolve.
14:58:15:21 One of the things I learned a long time ago when I
14:58:17:28 first became an elected official in 1996, I learned
14:58:21:27 very quickly from those who had the experience that you
14:58:24:25 got to learn how to compromise and come to the middle
14:58:29:10 And I have based a lot of my decisions on that as we
14:58:34:09 move forward.
14:58:35:22 Over my ten years, 11 years as an elected official, how
14:58:41:24 do you come to the point where there's some compromise
14:58:47:09 in the middle ground so that we walk away, all of us,
14:58:51:07 with some resolve and felt like we accomplished
14:58:55:27 And so I want to say both sides, even as you move
14:58:59:09 forward in the future, you want to look at that.
14:59:01:09 You want to try to meet some middle ground that you
14:59:04:21 both can live with.
14:59:05:21 Now, I will tell you, in my research, I have not found
14:59:11:18 any comparable county or municipality that has done
14:59:15:06 away with the step plan.
14:59:16:28 I heard the administrator say it's antiquated and
14:59:19:12 outdated but I don't know any county that has done away
14:59:23:00 with the step plan.
14:59:24:06 You're right, councilman, it may need to be modified,
14:59:29:12 that sort of thing.
14:59:30:27 We're going to trust and we can't tell the
14:59:33:06 administration what to do under the charter, is that
14:59:35:27 right, Mr. Fletcher?
14:59:37:00 All the wonderful suggestions you had, wonderful.
14:59:39:27 But we cannot dictate to the administration what to do.
14:59:42:13 Those things within our purview, we deal with them,
14:59:47:15 like today.
14:59:48:00 And that's what we've done.
14:59:49:15 I also would like to say -- and you're right,
14:59:56:00 Mr. Miranda, things are going to be different in the
15:00:00:25 If that amendment gets back on the ballot, you're
15:00:06:19 right, it will be different.
15:00:07:24 We all have to consider that, look at how we'll do
15:00:11:13 business in the future.
15:00:12:09 As of now, we've been instructed to counsel we can only
15:00:15:06 deal with '08.
15:00:16:06 I want to say I think it's a good compromise.
15:00:19:00 I'm going to support the motion that's on the floor.
15:00:21:28 And I hope that this will help our firefighters know
15:00:26:19 that we value them, that this community values you.
15:00:29:15 And for the job that you are doing.
15:00:31:06 Lastly, I need to say for the record, when I opened the
15:00:35:28 meeting, when I opened the meeting, I opened the
15:00:39:19 meeting as the Chairman, I officially opened it as the
15:00:42:24 public hearing and laid out the ground rules so
15:00:45:18 everyone would understand.
15:00:46:21 So I want to go on record saying that the meeting was
15:00:49:16 opened officially by the Chairman as a public meeting,
15:00:52:24 public hearing and afforded you the opportunity to be
15:00:54:18 able to address this Council.
15:00:56:03 Mr. Attorney, do we need to close the public hearing?
15:01:02:06 >>MARTIN SHELBY: If you wish to do that as a formality,
15:01:04:24 I would also agree with your interpretation that this
15:01:07:13 public hearing was the only thing noticed on the
15:01:09:21 It was conducted as a public hearing, and if anybody
15:01:12:21 wishes to object to that interpretation, please do so
15:01:16:21 I see no objection to that interpretation,
15:01:18:13 Mr. Chairman.
15:01:19:09 If Council wishes to make as a formality, close the
15:01:22:21 public hearing by motion after the vote or before the
15:01:25:09 vote, however Council wishes to do it, they may do so.
15:01:29:03 >>GWEN MILLER: I'd just like to say to our
15:01:31:27 firefighters, the men and women, this was a good day.
15:01:35:12 We thought we would come here and fight, and we did not
15:01:38:19 Everybody came together, and we agreed and we came up
15:01:41:00 with a good plan -- some might not think.
15:01:45:06 This is a start.
15:01:45:27 I know next year, it's going to be a battle, but we can
15:01:51:04 handle it.
15:01:51:22 We'll work together, firefighters and administration.
15:01:54:13 You're not going to have to come to Council because
15:01:56:19 you'll be able to work it out before you get to us.
15:01:58:27 Today you did a great job and I really appreciate what
15:02:02:00 you have done today, and my colleagues thank you for
15:02:04:03 being here to hear them, because -- we all agreed to be
15:02:10:21 here, and it was a pleasure being here because I know
15:02:14:00 that we can do what we need to do to help our city.
15:02:19:01 And we all work for the city.
15:02:20:16 And we don't help the city, then we won't have a city.
15:02:23:12 So today was a great day.
15:02:25:07 And I would like to thank you all for doing this job
15:02:29:01 >>THOMAS SCOTT: Okay.
15:02:29:21 Any other comments?
15:02:30:13 Motion to close the public hearing.
15:02:31:16 All in favor, signify by aye.
15:02:38:24 There's a motion on the floor, the motion was made by
15:02:42:07 councilwoman Mary Mulhern and seconded by councilman
15:02:46:10 Joseph Caetano.
15:02:47:18 All in favor of the motion, signify by saying aye.
15:02:52:21 >> Move to receive and file.
15:02:54:09 >> Second.
15:02:54:13 >>THOMAS SCOTT: All in favor, signify by aye.
15:02:57:16 Then no other comment, then we stand adjourned.
15:03:00:09 Thank you.
15:03:02:00 [ APPLAUSE ]
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