Published: Sep 19, 2010 1:05 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 18, 2010 10:05 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Cape Coral firefighters and residents united Saturday to send a message to city council members: do not move forward with a pay cut.

"We hope after speaking with people today they will voice that opposition to council," said union president Mark Muerth.

The firefighters union held a town hall meeting educating the public about how the department is run, and hoping to gain their support against potential pay cuts.

The president of the Cape Coral Firefighters Union says his union isn't going to accept the 6.7% pay cut the city is proposing for each department.

"My position is the firefighters are not going to take a 6.7 decrease," Muerth said.

City manager Gary King proposed the pay cut as a way to save Cape Coral money.

On September 8th, Gary King told WINK News the pay cut is way to avoid layoffs.

"I would like to the think the employees would recognize the fact that we are doing everything we can to save jobs," King said.

Firefighters like Brendan Fonock has been a Cape Coral firefighter for the past four years.

Married with a newborn baby, Fonock says the pay cuts will hurt.

"You're going to see new families like myself struggle to put food on the table," Fonock said.

If the union rejects the paycut, then the department could be forced to lay people off, affecting manpower.

Muerth hopes the union can work with the city to create some other financial savings, avoiding paycuts or layoffs.

Regardless of what happens, firefighters say they'll do the job no matter what.

"We do work for this community, whether we have to take a pay cut or lay people off we're still going to show up to your front door when you call 911."

The council is set to vote on the budget, which could include the pay cuts, on Tuesday.