LEE COUNTY, Fla.-- Lee county is agreeing to a new contract that grants paramedics and emergency medical technicians, the right to re-open the deal, and ask for pay raises in the second and third years. At the same time, the county is warning other employees to expect no raises in the foreseeable future, and they might be subject to pay cuts.
"This is probably not a good precedent, because there is not going to be money for raises for anyone," said Lee Commissioner Frank Mann. "We get into trouble if we treat one group of employees this way, and others, another way. We cannot do that."
The agreement, approved Tuesday by commissioners, allows the county and union to re-open talks about cost of living increases in the second and third years of the 3-year deal.
"I do not believe anyone really believes they are going to get a pay raise, unless others in county government do," said Chief Kim Dickerson, head of Lee Emergency Medical Services. "Yes, the union has the right to re-open. But right now, there are no anticipated increases."
The agreement covers 300 union members in the Lee EMS.