Pension and Hour Reduction Fights in Palm Beach
Not Just Fires: Fighting For Pension And Hour Reduction
The Fire Department’s union representatives were hoping to resolve some issues in a meeting with the Town of Palm Beach staff on Friday. The local 2928 lawyer, Mark Floyd, and The Town of Palm Beach’s labor attorney, Jeffrey Mandel, came to a consensus on all but two controversial topics when the meeting came to an close. Unfortunately, it ended in stalemate and the issues regarding the amount of work hours in a week and pensions still remain and probably will continue to remain for quite some time.
Fights in Palm Beach
The Local 2928 reps, on behalf of Palm Beach Firefighters, had reached out to Town of Palm Beach staff back in early April to ask about getting their Kelly Days reinstated. The Palm Beach Post explained, “Kelly Days are unpaid days off every seventh shift that would reduce the work week from 56 hours to 48 hours.” According to the union representatives, their lawyer, and Town of Palm Beach firefighters, these Kelly Days are a commonality in most other counties.
The problem with the Town of Palm Beach firefighters not receiving benefits that can compete with other municipalities is that a mass amount of firefighters are leaving to go work in other municipalities. They want a higher pension and shorter work weeks and are obviously prepared to act if their requests aren’t made.
Naturally, the absence of firefighters creates an unsafe environment for firefighters and Town of Palm Beach residents alike. Many take their first responders for granted until they need them at their house within minutes. We reached out to International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2928, but did not hear back for a comment on their views.
The fights in Palm Beach for higher pension and shorter work weeks will continue until the Town Council of the Town of Palm Beach can make a final decision.