CAPE CORAL, Fla.-City Manager Gary King has resolved two grievances filed by the Fire Rank and File and Battalion Chiefs unions regarding application of “add pay” in favor of the unions. “Add pays” are additional monies that union members can earn based on attaining certain requirements such as certifications as a Fire Officer, Fire Inspector, Pump Operator, Smoke Diver, etc. The add pay typically is $35 per pay period.
The City was conducting an audit of employee add pays, which triggered questions about whether add pays were being approved according to the language found in the fire unions’ collective bargaining agreements. The city manager placed a moratorium on approving additional add pay requests pending the outcome of the audit and review of the existing add pay policy.
“We found confusion within the contract language as to whether employees were entitled to an add pay for each incentive or if the employee needed multiple certifications to qualify for a single add pay,” said King.
After the moratorium was implemented, the two fire unions filed grievances with the city manager. King completed his review and concluded that an historical context exists for the current practice. On Thursday, King instructed the Human Resources Department to begin processing the outstanding change notices and continue with the existing policy.
“While the language in the Battalion Chiefs contract was not as unclear as the Fire Rank and File, we still need to clarify this for future agreements,” added King. “The proper arena to do so will be during collective bargaining.”